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.
On Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM, Ralph Guilder <[log in to unmask]>
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.
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Donna L. Cornwell
Global InfoTek, Inc.[log in to unmask]
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