By Grayson Capener
So something you will quickly learn at New Tech and any school you go to where you work with people, is that there are some people who have the hardest time staying focused and getting their work done on time. This is an even bigger problem when they have access to something as distracting as the intern. Because of this, I have created this segment on how to handle off-task team mates.
The first thing you need to remember is that when a student is near a friend, distraction is inevitable. I would suggest (if you are the team leader) you try sitting away from the people you've seen goofing off with your team member in the past or even yourself. Try to keep them focused by setting small goals they can complete and helping them along. Make them excited to work and not just bored t be in class.
Sometimes you may not realize it, but they may be confused or in need of help. If you have time, ask them if they need help with something. If they get up to leave, make sure it’s for a reason and not to go find their friends. When they have access to technology you have to make sure they are using it properly. This can be hard because you can’t exactly stop the internet, so make sure they know what they should be doing. Give them a reason. Sometimes they refrain from doing their work because it’s boring or they don’t want to do it. Make sure there is an end goal. You can even offer a reward like “If we all get an A on the project I’ll make cupcakes!” This will give them a reason to work on the project. Make it fun, give them options of fun things they can do with the project like telling them they could add their favorite character or make something their favorite color. This will help engage them.
Refrain from making them feel bad. The last thing someone who is struggling wants to hear is that they are “annoying” or “dumb”. They may be distractible, but that does not make them un-intelligent. Give them lift-ups and they will be more excited to work with you and less prone to talking to their friends or messing around on the internet. Start by saying “ I know you can do this!” make sure they know what the goal is “Lets try to get an A!” Remind them about what the project is an why it’s important.When all else fails grab a teacher. Some people do not want to rat out their fellow classmates, but sometimes it may be necessary. If the person continues to exhibit unhelpful behavior, and is consistently damaging the team’s work ethic talk to a teacher and they can help you set guidelines for the person and give you further instructions on how to help them work effectively.
I hope this article was helpful!
Lisa Gottfried is a CTE teacher with 20 years experience as CEO of her own Video and Motion Graphics Production house. She currently teaches Intro to Digital Media, Video Production and Game/3D Design. She loves her job and her students!