It amazing how much your level of learning can be determined by the other students in your class. It doesn’t just affect the deepness of conversations in the class, but it also affects the amount of collaboration that takes place out side of class.
I love the group of students we have in my AP Chemistry. It’s one of those groups that’s just diverse enough to where the class is full of people who wouldn’t normally always work together, but not so diverse that everyone is closed off to themselves. In fact we actually have a big group text with everyone in the class and are always collaborating to help each other better understand confusing concepts.
Whether it’s on homework, or right before a big text, the people in my Chem class are always ready to help out when needed. And it isn’t like one person is always the person with the answer, we all contribute equally and we are sure to divid up tasks evenly when doing group work. We’ve grown a certain confidence with each other where we trust everyone to do their share of their work and in a timely fashion.
For example, several people in our class are leaving for Australia tomorrow for a school trip, so they had to have what we call a problem set done by today and take their test today. (On problem sets we are encouraged to work as a group to do a bunch of problems by the end of a certain amount of days, though I’ve heard that our Ap Chem class may be the only class that still collaborates now that groups aren’t assigned.) Because these few students had to be prepared today, even though the rest of us had a few extra days, we made sure to finish last night so that we could help them study and be ready for the test today.
I just love seeing productive collaboration amongst a class. My grade for a while has been fairly well known for being a grade full of collaborators. We constantly make massive study guides, go above and beyond on projects just because, we throw parties for teachers that get new big job offers or when a holiday like pi day is coming up; we love working together to do crazy events. However, I’ve noticed that this year, as classes have gotten harder, we’ve been given less opportunities to do big group projects and our grade has been less known for big collaborative stunts. It’s kind of sad actually and many of my peers have noticed this change.
We want the opportunity to do a big group project. To get so involved in a project where we collaborate with people not even in our class. To be so serious about a challenge that we contact our dean to request a non-uniform day so that we can where costumes to enrich the experience. To be so curious about a topic that we constantly are thinking and talking about what we’ve learned with our fellow peers.
Collaboration is great when you’re given the space to take it further than just “an assignment.”