Hi all - I think that this is a great idea and is one that has been discussed in one iteration or another for a couple of years. The biggest challenge that we have in making something like this happen is person power - both in finding someone with the time to devise/manage a process to match up coaches and in the number of people needed to execute it. If anyone would be interested in evaluating what the mentoring program would look like and how it could be done, I invite you to reach out to me off the list. Along those lines, I would like to encourage anyone who has an idea for VA/DC FLL to let us know. Please remember, though, that great ideas are not enough...we need people to step up and make them happen. As you know, VA/DC FLL is entirely volunteer run and while the volunteers we have are extremely dedicated, everyone - from our wonderful coaches to the planning committee to the tournament organizers - is really busy and our lists of "I wish we could" or "if only there were more people or hours in the day" are extensive. Do you have an idea or special skill that you can bring to the table? We would love to hear about it and can always find ways to use the gifts that this community can share. They can be big like the idea of a mentoring program, they can be small like creating a VA/DC FLL cheer, or they can be anything in between. The sky is the limit...we just need you! As an FYI, we will be sending out a survey for all coaches and parents within the next week to get your feedback on what went well this season and what can be improved upon. Please be on the look out for the survey soon. Thanks to all, Brittany --- Brittany Rose VA/DC FIRST LEGO League www.vadcfll.org ----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Blanpied" <[log in to unmask]> To: [log in to unmask] Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2008 1:33:20 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern Subject: [VADCFLL-L] Mentoring rookie coaches Thoughts on the mentoring of rookie coaches... Being a rookie coach is hard work. There is a lot to learn about FLL, a lot of kid-management and kid-guidance to be done, the challenge of a short season. Success at a regional tournament involves a lot of planning and insight that may be elusive even for those who read the coaching manual and read the listserv, and it may not be apparent to some rookie coaches that there are books, guides, conference calls and whatnot available to them. This season (my third) I had the opportunity to provide some help and mentoring to a school librarian coaching a young rookie team at a school in a nearby county. Although we never met in person, we corresponded a number of times and talked on the phone a time or two, which gave her the opportunity to ask for guidance (from "where is the regional tournament?" to "what's really expected in the research project?" to "how can I know what the judges will ask?" to any number of questions about the intricate robot-match rules), and for me to offer advice that she may not have even known she needs. Although there were still a lot of aspects of the tournament that she found eye-opening, I think it was helpful. I wonder if VADCFLL ought to consider formalizing such an arrangement for all new coaches. The idea would be to pair up each new coach with one (or maybe two) experienced coaches. This would be best done right at the start of the season, to make sure the rookie gets hooked up to the relevant web sites, listserv and other resources, and gets some tips on how to organize the work, set realistic goals, create appropriate ground-rules, understand the role of the coach in FLL, and pace out the short season. Ideally the experienced coach (or maybe his or her whole team, if experienced) would meet with the rookie group early in the season, but that would be above-and-beyond. As tournament date approaches, the mentor coach could provide guidance on creating a suitable presentation, interpreting the Q&A's, and how to get the kids, families and materials organized. Thoughts? -- Cheers, Mike Blanpied Reston, VA 2006 #4809 Nano People 2007 #1666 Power Bunnies 2008 #5013 BLT--Brilliant LEGO Team ______________________________________________________________ To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE YOUR SETTINGS, please visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or leave the list". If you want to join the VADCFLL-ADMIN-L mailing list - to which FLL administrative announcements will be distributed - visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-admin-l.html and select "Join or leave the list". ______________________________________________________________ To UNSUBSCRIBE or CHANGE YOUR SETTINGS, please visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-l.html and select "Join or leave the list". If you want to join the VADCFLL-ADMIN-L mailing list - to which FLL administrative announcements will be distributed - visit https://listserv.jmu.edu/archives/vadcfll-admin-l.html and select "Join or leave the list".