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October 2012


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Donna Cornwell <[log in to unmask]>
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Donna Cornwell <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 9 Oct 2012 08:21:45 -0400
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What a difficult situation.  I, too, like to put the kids as much in charge
as possible.  I wouldn't have thought of the possibility of them taking it
upon themselves to kick someone off the team.

I would suggest that you communicate to everyone that the team captains
have overstepped their authority.  The team is for the kids, but parents
have provided funding (either by paying out of pocket or seeking
donations), space, transportation, supervision, and scheduling.

This would be a good time to sit down with the team captains and discuss
what decisions are in the realm of team captain responsibility and adult
responsibility.  For example - team name, robot design, project topic would
be decided by the team.  Leaving school early for a tournament or field
trip to interview seniors, etc -- adult veto power.

The team captains need to understand when to ask for adult assistance.  If
they can't manage another child's behavior, then their next step should be
to ask you for help.  They should keep you informed of what is going on.
 Go over the FLL Core Values with them.  Ask them to think through how this
situation could have been handled with "gracious professionalism"

Since this got out of hand with removing a team member, how about asking
everyone to just reset and have a fresh start.  Rules for behavior could be
set with escalating consequences for everyone.

Do you have other adults to help with the meetings?  You might ask each
parent to take a turn.  Most of my team parents spent some time helping
with meetings. If they aren't familiar with the mindstorms, I just ask them
to help keep the kids on task.  Ask them what they are working on and how
it is going, etc.

Good luck with your team.

Donna Cornwell
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On Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM, Ralph Guilder <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Coaches
> I am a rookie coach DIV 1 and have no sponsoring org. I have independent
> funding. My team captains, who I empower to make team decisions, have
> counseled (no punitive stuff and i was there with an assistant coach) an 11
> yo several times about behavior , distractions , etc. The child doesn't
> show up to meetings and throws stuff in my house. He joined the team very
> late compared to the other members.
> ( to be honest I don't do we'll with confrontation )
> They took it upon themselves to remove him from the team yesterday without
> my knowledge.  The boys parents are very angry at me and I am trying to
> undo what has been done or at least move forward.
> As a parent I am very sad this happened and found out at the same time his
> mom did.  I was going to talk to the parents about this but the captains
> beat me to it in a way I did not expect.
> Has any coach had this situation and how did you handle it?  I really am
> heartbroken and struggling with this. I am a Scout Leader and have been a
> Coach in sports and have never had a situation like this.
> I know the boys heart is broken and as a parent I sympathize with them.
> Respectfully,
> Coach Guilder
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Donna L. Cornwell
Global InfoTek, Inc.
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