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November 2012

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From:
Eric Palmer <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Eric Palmer <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Sun, 18 Nov 2012 14:59:48 -0500
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I'm blushing. I'm not even close to the same league as Karen and Dominick.
They set a high bar.

Thanks for the kind words about my note/essay.

Eric

On Sun, Nov 18, 2012 at 2:25 PM, B Bergenstock <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> I totally agree- this needs to send over to FIRST.   What a touching
> email!
>    And to send out some behind the scene thanks- Thank-you to  Karen for
> organizing the tournaments in my area. What I do as a coach is great and
> personally touches the lives of my kids, but none of it would be possible
> with out people like Karen, Eric and Dominick!  A big thank-you to you
> organizers :)  These stories belong to you too!
> Regards,
> Brandy
>
>
> On Sun, Nov 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM, Haydee Cooper <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>
>> Wow, Eric, that is one amazing e-mail/essay!
>> I seriously think somebody from First should put it up on their website.
>>
>> Haydee
>>
>>    *From:* Eric Palmer <[log in to unmask]>
>> *To:* [log in to unmask]
>> *Sent:* Sunday, November 18, 2012 9:50 AM
>> *Subject:* Re: [VADCFLL-L] Parent Involvement/Expectations Contract
>> Sample?
>>
>>  Great question. This is very personal for me.  I have cried, yelled and
>> screamed, and ranted in front of my family (never in front of the kids,
>> other than the crying part),  and swore that I would quit FIRST. But……
>> I’ve notice that with all volunteer activities for parents that maybe 15%
>> commit 95% of the time and effort involved. This is a fact of life and is
>> unfortunate but is not likely to change much.
>> Each coach has to make his or her own determination about invested time
>> and return on that investment.
>>
>> For a little history
>> - coached FLL first time in 2006 and had 6,7 and 8th graders (my oldest
>> was a 8th grader)
>> - coached my youngest again in 2009, 2010 and 2011
>>
>> I've had the privileged to observe and in some cases work with, team
>> members from past teams and I do run into many of them and their parents
>> routinely.  Feedback is uniform and always amazingly positive about the
>> outcomes. FIRST changes lives for the better.
>>
>> Most of the team members I have kept up with are outstanding young
>> people, and many personally thank me, as do their parents, for the
>> experience on FLL.  I have seen some of these kids grow up to and go to
>> college. Others are seniors in HS this year and as well last year's team is
>> 7th, 8th and 9th graders.
>>
>> My own assessment (and that of their parents) is these kids are much
>> better off having been on FLL teams.  I will tell you I and my assistant
>> coaches worked on core values, teamwork, decision-making, critical thinking
>> and other related skills a lot.  I count that effort as having a big impact
>> on the maturity of the kids.
>>
>> So what does this have to do with parent involvement?  Again, my opinion
>> only!  Parent involvement matters less than being an aware coach and being
>> active in molding the kids.  Good parent involvement does make the time
>> commitment a little less for the coaches.
>>
>> Honestly if I had know how much work there was in coaching and how
>> difficult parents can be, I would not have coached my first team. Going in
>> naive was good for me. When I was done with the season I knew I would stay
>> involved. I had to wait for my youngest to age up some but I knew.  But
>> first after each season was over I told my family I was done with coaching.
>> That lasted about two weeks till I had the sense that my time was little
>> cost compared to the maturation of the kids.
>>
>> I've had parents that were perfect, parents that I never saw, and ones in
>> which I wish I would never see at meetings or anywhere (and had to ask them
>> to not be so involved). I even had one parent that I only saw at the
>> regional tournament. He came up afterwards and said matter-of-factly “I
>> wouldn’t have been so negative if I had known what this was really like and
>> how good it is for my son?" All I can say about that to myself was “Duh!”
>>
>> After the first year I did get to where we had frank conversations before
>> season with each parent. We talked about parent involvement needs,
>> commitment on the team, and what other activities that each kid was
>> committed to during season. I used a contract, but that was more about the
>> commitment of the kids and not the parents and as well was about the team
>> fee.  I even turned away a few for lack of commitment.  Not sure it
>> mattered because parent commitment varied anyway.
>>
>> Some of my difficult kids and parents have resulted in:
>>
>> - a shy quiet young man, when asked what was the best part of the season
>> "I found my voice"
>>
>> - My most difficult first team member: ran into him at a FLL tournament
>> when he as a senior in HS. He came up and hugged me and said with tears
>> streaming down his 6’3” frame: "I just wrote an essay on the topic of the
>> person who has made the most difference in my life and that was about
>> you'.  He is now in college after having a successful HS career.
>>
>>  -       My youngest first team members are seniors in HS and are
>> captains of the FRC high school robotics team and are model young men.
>>
>> I could go on and list out a lot more.  All of this is worth it.  I
>> haven’t even mentioned the benefits to my two girls.
>>
>> And now that I’m done coaching, I am glad it is over because it was a lot
>> of effort.  But I would not trade it for anything.  And yes I'm still
>> involved.  I judge and help to organize a FLL tournament. And I have moved
>> my time commitments to FRC (the big robots) for a HS team and as a
>> tournament volunteer.  I recruit others to FLL actively and I occasionally
>> take a new coach under my wings to guide them through the difficult process
>> of coaching.
>>
>> So please don't let difficult parents stop you from continuing on with
>> coaching.  FIRST robotics changes lives in so many ways.  And if you are
>> done, please keep FIRST going strong. Volunteer and recruit and judge.
>> Eric Palmer
>> On Sat, Nov 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM, Lori Hand <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> That is a really good question.  I was lucky to have 2 assistant coaches
>> who
>> helped a lot. Yet still there is so much planning,coordinating to be
>> done. I
>> am completely DONE for a while.  Half the parents did not help at all.  I
>> am
>> not sure they said thank you.
>> In my sheet, I requested the parents to volunteer for 1week of meetings.
>>  8
>> weeks, 8 meetings I was thinking. Yet half the team's parents did not,
>>  even
>> with repeated emails , volunteer for anything.  I can not lie, the next
>> time
>> I pick a team, the amount of help a parent gives will matter, if we I do
>> it
>> again.
>>
>> One way to know, is to organize a club / or other meetings to get a feel
>> of
>> which kids /parents work out the best.  FLL is an all volunteer effort
>> and I
>> feel that many parents do not help out at all.  Oddly enough, these
>> parents
>> are also the ones who complain the most.  So my thought is this -
>> make your time a complete "Gift" of time and since your child is in it,
>> count it as your time to help your child and live with whatever the
>> parents
>>  have to offer.
>> Or select a team that includes consideration of how much others can
>> contribute and make it a prerequisite with a failure  to do clause.
>> At our coop preschool, if you do not coop, its $30 per class.  A fee gets
>> involvement fast ,generally speaking.  I KNOW its not about the $, but for
>> many that will give you the kids /parents that are serious.  A parent
>> won't
>> sign up if they can't help.
>>
>> The down side is that a great kid might get left out.
>>
>> Coach Robotic Ninjas
>> Glen Allen VA
>>
>> -- To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE your settings, please visit
>> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or
>> leave the list".
>>
>> -- VADCFLL administrative announcements are sent via
>> VADCFLL-ANNOUNCEMENTS-L. Visit
>> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-ANNOUNCEMENTS-l.html to
>> subscribe.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> About Me <http://about.me/ericpalmer>
>> http://www.thingiverse.com/DaddyOh
>> Join the 3DPrinter Revolution
>> http://makerbot.com/
>>
>>  To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE your settings, please visit
>> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or
>> leave the list".
>> VADCFLL administrative announcements are sent via
>> VADCFLL-ANNOUNCEMENTS-L. Visit
>> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-announcements-l.html to
>> subscribe.
>>
>>
>>   ------------------------------
>> To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE your settings, please visit
>> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or
>> leave the list".
>> VADCFLL administrative announcements are sent via
>> VADCFLL-ANNOUNCEMENTS-L. Visit
>> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-announcements-l.html to
>> subscribe.
>>
>
> ------------------------------
> To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE your settings, please visit
> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or
> leave the list".
> VADCFLL administrative announcements are sent via VADCFLL-ANNOUNCEMENTS-L.
> Visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-announcements-l.html to
> subscribe.
>



-- 
About Me <http://about.me/ericpalmer>
http://www.thingiverse.com/DaddyOh
Join the 3DPrinter Revolution
http://makerbot.com



On Sun, Nov 18, 2012 at 2:25 PM, B Bergenstock <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> I totally agree- this needs to send over to FIRST.   What a touching
> email!
>    And to send out some behind the scene thanks- Thank-you to  Karen for
> organizing the tournaments in my area. What I do as a coach is great and
> personally touches the lives of my kids, but none of it would be possible
> with out people like Karen, Eric and Dominick!  A big thank-you to you
> organizers :)  These stories belong to you too!
> Regards,
> Brandy
>
>
> On Sun, Nov 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM, Haydee Cooper <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>
>> Wow, Eric, that is one amazing e-mail/essay!
>> I seriously think somebody from First should put it up on their website.
>>
>> Haydee
>>
>>    *From:* Eric Palmer <[log in to unmask]>
>> *To:* [log in to unmask]
>> *Sent:* Sunday, November 18, 2012 9:50 AM
>> *Subject:* Re: [VADCFLL-L] Parent Involvement/Expectations Contract
>> Sample?
>>
>>  Great question. This is very personal for me.  I have cried, yelled and
>> screamed, and ranted in front of my family (never in front of the kids,
>> other than the crying part),  and swore that I would quit FIRST. But……
>> I’ve notice that with all volunteer activities for parents that maybe 15%
>> commit 95% of the time and effort involved. This is a fact of life and is
>> unfortunate but is not likely to change much.
>> Each coach has to make his or her own determination about invested time
>> and return on that investment.
>>
>> For a little history
>> - coached FLL first time in 2006 and had 6,7 and 8th graders (my oldest
>> was a 8th grader)
>> - coached my youngest again in 2009, 2010 and 2011
>>
>> I've had the privileged to observe and in some cases work with, team
>> members from past teams and I do run into many of them and their parents
>> routinely.  Feedback is uniform and always amazingly positive about the
>> outcomes. FIRST changes lives for the better.
>>
>> Most of the team members I have kept up with are outstanding young
>> people, and many personally thank me, as do their parents, for the
>> experience on FLL.  I have seen some of these kids grow up to and go to
>> college. Others are seniors in HS this year and as well last year's team is
>> 7th, 8th and 9th graders.
>>
>> My own assessment (and that of their parents) is these kids are much
>> better off having been on FLL teams.  I will tell you I and my assistant
>> coaches worked on core values, teamwork, decision-making, critical thinking
>> and other related skills a lot.  I count that effort as having a big impact
>> on the maturity of the kids.
>>
>> So what does this have to do with parent involvement?  Again, my opinion
>> only!  Parent involvement matters less than being an aware coach and being
>> active in molding the kids.  Good parent involvement does make the time
>> commitment a little less for the coaches.
>>
>> Honestly if I had know how much work there was in coaching and how
>> difficult parents can be, I would not have coached my first team. Going in
>> naive was good for me. When I was done with the season I knew I would stay
>> involved. I had to wait for my youngest to age up some but I knew.  But
>> first after each season was over I told my family I was done with coaching.
>> That lasted about two weeks till I had the sense that my time was little
>> cost compared to the maturation of the kids.
>>
>> I've had parents that were perfect, parents that I never saw, and ones in
>> which I wish I would never see at meetings or anywhere (and had to ask them
>> to not be so involved). I even had one parent that I only saw at the
>> regional tournament. He came up afterwards and said matter-of-factly “I
>> wouldn’t have been so negative if I had known what this was really like and
>> how good it is for my son?" All I can say about that to myself was “Duh!”
>>
>> After the first year I did get to where we had frank conversations before
>> season with each parent. We talked about parent involvement needs,
>> commitment on the team, and what other activities that each kid was
>> committed to during season. I used a contract, but that was more about the
>> commitment of the kids and not the parents and as well was about the team
>> fee.  I even turned away a few for lack of commitment.  Not sure it
>> mattered because parent commitment varied anyway.
>>
>> Some of my difficult kids and parents have resulted in:
>>
>> - a shy quiet young man, when asked what was the best part of the season
>> "I found my voice"
>>
>> - My most difficult first team member: ran into him at a FLL tournament
>> when he as a senior in HS. He came up and hugged me and said with tears
>> streaming down his 6’3” frame: "I just wrote an essay on the topic of the
>> person who has made the most difference in my life and that was about
>> you'.  He is now in college after having a successful HS career.
>>
>>  -       My youngest first team members are seniors in HS and are
>> captains of the FRC high school robotics team and are model young men.
>>
>> I could go on and list out a lot more.  All of this is worth it.  I
>> haven’t even mentioned the benefits to my two girls.
>>
>> And now that I’m done coaching, I am glad it is over because it was a lot
>> of effort.  But I would not trade it for anything.  And yes I'm still
>> involved.  I judge and help to organize a FLL tournament. And I have moved
>> my time commitments to FRC (the big robots) for a HS team and as a
>> tournament volunteer.  I recruit others to FLL actively and I occasionally
>> take a new coach under my wings to guide them through the difficult process
>> of coaching.
>>
>> So please don't let difficult parents stop you from continuing on with
>> coaching.  FIRST robotics changes lives in so many ways.  And if you are
>> done, please keep FIRST going strong. Volunteer and recruit and judge.
>> Eric Palmer
>> On Sat, Nov 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM, Lori Hand <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> That is a really good question.  I was lucky to have 2 assistant coaches
>> who
>> helped a lot. Yet still there is so much planning,coordinating to be
>> done. I
>> am completely DONE for a while.  Half the parents did not help at all.  I
>> am
>> not sure they said thank you.
>> In my sheet, I requested the parents to volunteer for 1week of meetings.
>>  8
>> weeks, 8 meetings I was thinking. Yet half the team's parents did not,
>>  even
>> with repeated emails , volunteer for anything.  I can not lie, the next
>> time
>> I pick a team, the amount of help a parent gives will matter, if we I do
>> it
>> again.
>>
>> One way to know, is to organize a club / or other meetings to get a feel
>> of
>> which kids /parents work out the best.  FLL is an all volunteer effort
>> and I
>> feel that many parents do not help out at all.  Oddly enough, these
>> parents
>> are also the ones who complain the most.  So my thought is this -
>> make your time a complete "Gift" of time and since your child is in it,
>> count it as your time to help your child and live with whatever the
>> parents
>>  have to offer.
>> Or select a team that includes consideration of how much others can
>> contribute and make it a prerequisite with a failure  to do clause.
>> At our coop preschool, if you do not coop, its $30 per class.  A fee gets
>> involvement fast ,generally speaking.  I KNOW its not about the $, but for
>> many that will give you the kids /parents that are serious.  A parent
>> won't
>> sign up if they can't help.
>>
>> The down side is that a great kid might get left out.
>>
>> Coach Robotic Ninjas
>> Glen Allen VA
>>
>> -- To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE your settings, please visit
>> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or
>> leave the list".
>>
>> -- VADCFLL administrative announcements are sent via
>> VADCFLL-ANNOUNCEMENTS-L. Visit
>> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-ANNOUNCEMENTS-l.html to
>> subscribe.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> About Me <http://about.me/ericpalmer>
>> http://www.thingiverse.com/DaddyOh
>> Join the 3DPrinter Revolution
>> http://makerbot.com/
>>
>>  To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE your settings, please visit
>> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or
>> leave the list".
>> VADCFLL administrative announcements are sent via
>> VADCFLL-ANNOUNCEMENTS-L. Visit
>> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-announcements-l.html to
>> subscribe.
>>
>>
>>   ------------------------------
>> To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE your settings, please visit
>> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or
>> leave the list".
>> VADCFLL administrative announcements are sent via
>> VADCFLL-ANNOUNCEMENTS-L. Visit
>> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-announcements-l.html to
>> subscribe.
>>
>
> ------------------------------
> To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE your settings, please visit
> https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or
> leave the list".
> VADCFLL administrative announcements are sent via VADCFLL-ANNOUNCEMENTS-L.
> Visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-announcements-l.html to
> subscribe.
>



-- 
About Me <http://about.me/ericpalmer>
http://www.thingiverse.com/DaddyOh
Join the 3DPrinter Revolution
http://makerbot.com

-- To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE your settings, please visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or leave the list".

-- VADCFLL administrative announcements are sent via VADCFLL-ANNOUNCEMENTS-L. Visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-ANNOUNCEMENTS-l.html to subscribe.


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