Cooperation can be the key to success inside, outside classroom


Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cooperation can be the key to success inside, outside classroom

In school, there are certain things a student must do or rules a student must follow. They must finish their homework on time, listen to the teacher as they are giving directions, participate in class and arrive to class at the appropriate time.

However, as a student, there is one thing that is almost required to be able to do within school grounds. That is known as cooperation or the ability to work well with others.

Being around other individuals is an unavoidable factor in school. You see other kids in the halls, rooms, auditorium, offices, libraries, gyms, and science labs. Kids are everywhere! So it’s only natural when you end up working with them as well.

When you begin to work with someone other than your friend and haven’t had much experience with it, this can be a troubling dilemma. It could be someone you don’t know, someone you don’t like, someone who scares you, or someone new. Either way, it’s a trying event. What do you do? You could ask the teacher to kindly assign you a different partner, but at times you don’t have a choice. Or what if your partner shares equal feelings of discomfort towards you? What then?

I was once faced with a problem similar to this. The student I was working with was new and had developed bad habits in the past that now made it difficult for us to accomplish the day’s goal. I was beginning to feel frustrated and longed to know what course of action to take. I also could see my partner was experiencing similar emotions. I thought about the situation for as long as time would allow, and tried to uncover a solution. The assignment itself was an important one. If we weren’t able to come up with the necessary solution needed for us to continue working on the given assignment, we would face deduction of grade points by as much as a letter.

Then it hit me.

For us to be able to finish our project, we would need to cooperate. By cooperating we would be able to finish our assignment and hopefully put aside any unkind feelings we had toward each other. Seeing a new direction, I jumped into action. I respectfully listened to the ideas my partner had, even if I didn’t agree with them, and in turn he listened to me. After we had heard each other’s opinions, we set off to create a solution by combining the two ideas we had to form a better plan. We had agreed on an idea and were able to successfully work together. We turned in our paper and received no deduction of points. I was greatly relieved, as was my partner. It now seemed that cooperation had worked to its fullest extend, for we had not only managed to complete the assignment, despite the fact that we at first disliked each other, but had become good friends as well.

Cooperation is imperative in school. Students are around other kids the entire day, they must learn to work together. Sure, it is true that 75 percent of the time you are working by yourself on something, but learning the skill of cooperation is a valuable tool and becomes an appreciated one when an assignment requiring more than one person arises. When a student has the abilities to arrive to class on time, finish their necessary projects or homework on or before the due date, and work successfully and diligently with others, they will gain more than good grades, but skills that will aid them in life as well.

Looking back, I see how many times cooperation has helped me in my curricular and athletic endeavors. Through cooperation, I have been able to face down many obstacles that lay before me in my path in life and have gained some valuable insight on other people’s beliefs and experiences.

Without the power of cooperation to assist me, I don’t believe that I would have been able to participate in the activities that I do today. Cooperation is something I will always rely on, in and out of school.

This column is the opinion of Keeven Macik, a freshman at Kenai Central High School.###

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