Group Work in Math "Lab" + Introvert = I'm Freaking Out
March 28, 2014 2:53 PM Subscribe
I'm taking Calculus this term and have just found out the second half of each class will be group work and I'm freaking out. I'm an introvert and the thought of working in a group - especially where I don't feel confident about the subject matter - is making me anxious before the class even starts! Can anyone tell me what to expect and/or offer suggestions on how to make it less awful?
posted by Beti to Education (14 answers total)
I took a trig class online last term and it was so great! I sat in my quiet workroom and loved working by myself. I participated via emails to the instructor, posting problems every week to the discussion boards and only having to show up in person for the exams. It was an ideal learning environment for me and I got an A (woot!) This term, I have to be in class twice a week which is fine. But apparently the newest thing in education is group work which is not so fine.
I've taken many math classes in college in the past and have zero recollection of having to work in groups. What is this madness?! Is this some shortcut so instructors don't have to teach? I'd like to think it's not but it sure feels like it. I'm not paying huge amounts of tuition to be (not) taught by fellow students who are there to learn the subject. If I could teach other students, I wouldn't need to be in the %^$*&^ class! /rant
If I'm know the subject matter, I'm fine. I train new people and have to deal with observers all the time at work. But I've been there ten years. Calculus? Not so much. I have the book and I've started working through it but it's going to be hard and I'm not feeling confident.
I started an on-campus trig class last fall but had to drop it for a variety of reasons. But even the first day in that class, we were shoved into groups after about 20 minutes and it was just as awful and anxiety-ridden and awkward as I would have expected. I'm not a leader and I'm not an extrovert. But I don't want to be a jerk and rude and just sit at the edge of the group and not participate (especially since I suspect participation will be part of the grade.)
Once it clicked, I remember liking math back in college. And I liked my trig class last term. I'd like to continue liking math but I'm already not looking forward to this class and that bums me out.
Thanks in advance for any input you all can offer - what to expect, how to manage anxiety, how to participate without feeling stupid or nauseous or both.