Thursday, April 19, 2012

Group Projects Suck

Courtesy of
One of the stupidest things I've ever heard of is out-of-school group projects... for 4th graders. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my daughter's teacher. She thinks the world of my daughter, is always pushing her in an amazing way to be the best she can be, and her communication with her students' parents is awesome.

But, they're 10 years old. Group projects that require meeting outside of school because you aren't letting them work on them in school... slightly ridiculous at this age. I don't remember doing group projects until at least middle school when I was growing up.

Alas, my daughter was assigned a group project... over spring break, nonetheless. The good thing was that one of her partners lives in the upstairs apartment. The 3rd member of their group? Not in this apartment complex.

So, this is what went down, and where the core bitching of my post comes from today. This spring break, Hubby came to visit. Fine, we can work The Girl's project into a few hours over the only week her daddy was going to be home. So, my daughter started calling this 3rd little girl on the first day of spring break. No answer, no voicemail. This continued through the majority of the week; my daughter called, no answer, no voicemail. My daughter, however, worked on the project with the little boy upstairs anyway, despite the little girl not answering the phone.

The 2nd member of the group, the little boy who lives upstairs, came and knocked on our door. He said that the 3rd little girl's mother called their teacher saying no one had bothered to call her daughter about the project and she was pissed. Their teacher called the mother upstairs and relayed the message.

WTF? My daughter had been calling your daughter all week (yes, the number was correct), not to mention you have both our phone number and the little boy's number. Was it necessary to go tattling to the teacher? Ohhh... you're one of those moms. I see. If the kids fail this project, you can say your daughter doesn't deserve the bad grade because no one contacted her, huh? Bitch.

Anyway, so, #3 (shortened version of the little girl) and #2 (little boy that lives upstairs)
decide to get together on Sunday at 3pm... the exact time we had to take Hubby back to the airport. Did anyone bother to contact my daughter to see when she would be available? Nope.

If there's anything you need to know about The Girl, it's that she worries... about everything... earthquakes, tornados, car accidents, plane accidents, bacteria, germs... and school projects. Yes, she's only 10, no I have never had her tested for OCD or any other stress disorder, and no I won't. Her worrying is not debilitating. It doesn't get in the way of her everyday life. It does, however, piss me the hell off.

So, she bursts into tears, immediately asking when we'll be back from taking Hubby to the airport, and calling #3 to beg her to come later.

I played damage control for the moment, explaining to The Girl that her teacher knew how much of a hard worker she is, and she'll be able to tell how much work my daughter did put into the project over the week (she pretty much did everything, which I don't have a problem with, because #2's current grade average in social studies is a 34... that's out of 100, by the way...), and her grade would be different from #2's and #3's.

Fingers crossed that's the case. I didn't exactly confirm that information with the teacher.

The project has since been turned in, and we are now waiting on the results. My daughter's contribution to the project? The entire poster and 2 out of the 4 spoken parts about historical figures. #2's and #3's combined contribution? The remaining 2 out of the 4 spoken parts about historical figures, and the name of the entire project: "Virginia Still Lives Today".

The kicker? The project is supposed to be about how West Virginia seceded from Virginia during the Civil War.

I'm not saying my daughter is the smartest kid in her class, but I'm thinking her crayon is brighter than #2's and #3's... combined.

And yet another point to support why 10 year olds should not be having to do group projects outside of school. They don't take school seriously enough yet... well, other kids don't. Not my daughter, though, she takes everything seriously.

I'd still rather have my daughter than #2 or #3, though. She has more potential to not have a career in the future that involves the phrase, 'Do you want fries with that?'

Sheesh, I'm a bitch. Oh well, they aren't my kids.

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  1. Bad news, group projects become a big deal in middle school. At least they were for my daughter, and I hated them! Unless the teacher specifically required it, my daughter knew not to join up with anyone on a project. I don't know if teachers just want less to grade or if it's a lesson on cooperation, but I have never seen a fair way to grade each child when it's supposed to be cooperative.

    1. I know I don't play well with others, so I'm sure my daughter doesn't either. If I'm not going to room mother meetings, then don't make my kid do group projects, right?

  2. Thats fkn stupid. My kids didn't start gettiing group assignments until 8th grade.
    Also, my daughter is just like yours. Worries about everything to the point of stomach ulcers. We have just taught her to chill and breathe through it.
    You're doing a good job. You were much nicer about this than I would have been.

    1. Thanks. I asked my daughter like 20 times if she wanted me to email her teacher. She kept telling me no. I should have done it anyway...