I love collaborating. I hope that’s obvious. However, group work can be a very complicated beast. I remember in college, and even grad school, there were always group projects. You could look at your group and pinpoint: the organized person, the person who would try to do work, the person who would say they would do work but really not, and the person that would disappear until the final product was due and expect to get a good group grade. If you were really lucky, you would get two organized people and one person who would try to do work. That generally lead to a decent product even though the group was still bogged down with the other types of people.
If you were really lucky, most of your group were positive thinkers. The worst part of doing a group project are the people who go: “We can’t do that. It is too hard.” It didn’t matter what role they played. One person who thought negatively would pull down the entire project.
I like to see myself as a positive person. I like believing that things can get done; that we can get help when needed; and that, generally, my work pays off in some form of outside recognition (an “A” on a project, a “good job” email from someone, or a person asking for my help again).
After many group projects with at least one negative person, it gets hard to remain positive. It is so easy to be negative. It is so easy to let bad days, or bad moments get you down. It is so easy to complain. It is so easy to say “that kid is awful and I can’t reach them,” or “this new plan won’t work because…” whatever reason. It is harder to believe in the good, but the good is always there. It is always worth striving for a harder to reach goal that you might not reach, that “A” grade, than the low-hanging fruit, that “C.”
I heard today from a teacher that I make her feel like the library is her space too. That’s exactly what a positive attitude fosters. The library may be “my library,” but it isn’t just mine: it belongs to the teachers, administration, and especially students.