Team work can make the dream work or it might be a nightmare College Life / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone:

Sometimes it becomes necessary to work in a team. Maybe your professor requires it or maybe the creator of the course you are taking thought it would be a good idea. The bottom line is that you have to do it, so how do you get through it?

You could do all the work yourself, but that’s not really teamwork by any stretch of the imagination. You might actually lose points for taking that approach, so watch out.

You might also have a teammate who thinks they could do the work better than the person who dominates the team and tells you that he or she WILL be doing all the work. Again, this is not ideal.

Here’s some ideas for picking a teammate (or teammates) if you have a choice in the matter:

What is your idea of getting something done “on time?” If you are a Last Minute Lewy, then you don’t want to be on a team with Get It done Glenda.

What is your goal grade for the project? If you want an A and your teammate is fine with a C, you will drive each other nuts.

What is your idea of “doing research?” If you check out the resources of school library and your potential teammate is fine with googling everything, pick another group, especially if you are in graduate school (I’ve seen it done!)

The bottom line is to be careful with teammates. Your grade depends on the work you are doing as a team, so you have to be vigilant. I was on a team in graduate school once where I had a real nut job on the team of four. This gal was demanding, obnoxious, and weird. When the semester was over, she gave us all very low ratings (the students were allowed to grade each others’ performance and it would be deducted from their final grade, if the review was negative). She gave each one of us a 2 out of 20, which would have lowered our final grades by a full letter. Fortunately, the instructor was keeping an eye on things and he gave us full credit.

So, they say that “teamwork makes the dream work” but it can be a nightmare, like I found out the hard way.


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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