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I have a bad partner for a literature project and need help. Do you have any advice?I...

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I have a bad partner for a literature project and need help. Do you have any advice?

I was assigned a partner who is lazy and waits till the last minute to do things. I am not that kind of person who holds things off. I tried talking to her and even went to the teacher. Nothing worked, and I do not want to do the whole thing myself, which people suggest I do. I don't want to start off the year with a bad grade, and I don't want to get anybody in trouble (I want to be liked). Do you have any advice? It is on William Shakespeare. Thanks for the input.

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I've been teaching for 25 years, so this is not the first time I've heard this complaint. I often encountered this problem during group projects when I was a student, so I know it can be a problem for a student who is enthusiastic about the assignment and the resulting grade. It sounds like your teacher is going to be firm about not allowing you to switch partners, so you may be stuck with who you have. When I grade group projects, I always have at least two grades: an overall grade and a separate participatory grade for each student. Teachers aren't stupid. We know that group projects are rarely completed with equal participation from all its members. I usually ask each student of the group who has done what, and ask them each to tell me who was the most valuable member of the group. That way, an average project can still result in above-average grades for certain members. You might want to ask your teacher how the grade will be given. Hopefully, your teacher will grade in a similar manner. If you find out otherwise, I would go ahead and try and pick up the slack by doing as much individual work as necessary to achieve the final result (and good grade) that you seek. You don't need to rat out your partner, but if the teacher asks who has done what part of the work, don't lie. Tell the truth. Your partner probably doesn't care about her grade anyway, and I don't think other students will hold your honesty against you. Good luck--with the project, your teacher, your partner and your grade.

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