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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 12-12-2006, 08:54 PM
KathieK's Avatar Unsung FIRST Hero
KathieK KathieK is offline
Sometimes FIRST makes my head hurt!
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Re: It hurts to exclude people from the team, but...

Your teambuilding exercises should include "ice breakers" where you learn about each other - almost everyone has SOMETHING in common with each other member on a team - sometimes you just have to take the time to find it.
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Unread 12-12-2006, 11:29 PM
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Cody Carey Cody Carey is offline
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Re: It hurts to exclude people from the team, but...

With my team being as small as it is... The seniors tend to have quite a bit of influence. Since we are all pretty level-headed, and have all been on the recieving end of stereo-types,We try to put a stop to it. usually this can be done by simply asking the offender to stop, but If that doesn't work, there is always the option of him/her cutting us some 2" round steel blanks...

with a hacksaw.


This is one advantage of a small, closely-knitted team.
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Last edited by Cody Carey : 12-12-2006 at 11:51 PM.
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Unread 12-13-2006, 12:04 AM
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Jeremiah Johnson Jeremiah Johnson is offline
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Re: It hurts to exclude people from the team, but...

Okay... here it goes... a personal example.

My team has a history of exclusivity post 2003 era. And I'll admit, as much as I am against this stuff now, I was part of it when I was in high school. We had a team member join last year, name to remain anonymous, that was outcast from the beginning and maybe rightfully so. He was very disruptive and immature. None of the parents, mentors, or other students appreciated what he brought to the team.
However, he kept with the team and we lived with his flaws as a person, per se. Now that he is in his second year, he was voted last year as the Most Improved Student and is now nominated as Student Team Leader. He's more mature now than most other students are that have been on the team for 3 or more years.

I have come to a rather disturbing conclusion that, with the absence of key members of the team that graduated in 2003 and the last of that era graduating in 2005, me being one of them, there has been an influx of negativity within the team. Those key members brought fun and excitement to the team. Now there is no team building excercises and the members are clique-ish. It makes me mad and no matter what I do, no one wants to do any team building excersizes.

I don't know if that's going to help any, I have a problem ranting like that... sorry.
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Unread 12-13-2006, 12:53 AM
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J Flex 188 J Flex 188 is offline
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Re: It hurts to exclude people from the team, but...

Im not sure I understand the application process, I think it may be more necessary for your team given the popularity within the school or for space limitations but try your best to include the student at the main events for the team, kickoff, initial build meeting, at least once or twice per phase of the season if they really are not allowed to be there for the entire duration. Try and also bring them to a regional event, it does wonders for your esteem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBotAlan View Post
Thanks for all your responses. I will talk to him. It's too late for this year--applications have closed--but I can try next year. I already had a huge influence on him, and I did talk with some of the kids torturing him, but he still left...I'll work on him, like I do everyone else!

JBot
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Unread 12-13-2006, 06:56 AM
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Al Skierkiewicz Al Skierkiewicz is offline
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Re: It hurts to exclude people from the team, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBotAlan View Post
Hey all,

We recently had a student join our team that did not fit in.
That's pretty surprising since there is no typical student in First. (Mentors either for that matter!) Every student should be given a chance and there should never be deadlines if a student wants to be on the team. I know that some students just never reach a comfort level but these are usually first year team members and they get the hang of it after a season or two. Team members should be admonished whenever this type of thing occurs. We are a team afterall. A Really Big Team, I know but that shouldn't matter. I feel deeply for every student that doesn't stay with the team, and so every effort should be made to keep everyone on the team. If we can figure out how to make a robot in six weeks, a little thing like personality conflict should be easy to overcome. If this isn't about building robots, then keeping students engaged is our highest priority.
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Unread 12-13-2006, 07:22 AM
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MikeDubreuil MikeDubreuil is offline
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Re: It hurts to exclude people from the team, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBotAlan View Post
We recently had a student join our team that did not fit in. I wanted him to be on the team because I thought it would be good for him, but it turned out wrong--members made fun of him because he does not fit the stereotype most of the kids on our team fit into, and he left the team...
So how would you handle it if someone that's not an overachiever joined your team?
From the other students perspective he never fit in. I'm positive from his perspective he never felt comfortable being there. From you admitting that he was made fun of indicates that as such. In this situation the students should have been more open minded. The mentors should have taken certian individuals aside and talked to them about their behavior.

I've never seen a team that had one stereotype. In fact I don't think it's a good idea to have one "clicke." It encourages only students from that one clicke to join. I think your mentors should talk to your students about welcoming everyone. Yourself and a mentor should welcome him back to the team. You should mention when your next meeting is and how you'd love for him to come.

The question about overachievers worries me a little bit. It sounds like you're discriminating against average people. Not a good thing
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Last edited by MikeDubreuil : 12-13-2006 at 07:27 AM.
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Unread 12-13-2006, 07:50 AM
JaneYoung's Avatar
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Onward through the fog.
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Re: It hurts to exclude people from the team, but...

Building a team and building the robot go hand in hand. Both are important. Students and professionals working together in creating a product that will enable them to participate in competition. Working together is key. Finding ways to work with each other and alongside each other is something that we do in the work world every day.
A FIRST team is an opportunity for individuals to find out what they are made of and what they can bring to the effort. Within the team, the veterans help the rookies acclimate. From there the individual makes his and her commitment to the team and to helping the team continue to develop. How well the team does in helping the process - the team members and the robot - defines the team and its contributions to our culture and our society.

Thanks for this thread, Jacob.
Jane
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Last edited by JaneYoung : 12-13-2006 at 07:55 AM. Reason: tweaking
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Unread 12-13-2006, 09:20 PM
EricH's Avatar
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New year, new team
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Re: It hurts to exclude people from the team, but...

Something for your fellow team members (and everyone on a team) to think about:

1. You are (supposed to be) a TEAM. This includes EVERYBODY. It does not include just the members of one stereotype or clique. It doesn't matter if someone is the worst guy with a screwdriver in the history of mankind or the best artist with a waterjet machine. He is still a member of the team and should be treated as one.

2. FIRST is not just for the technical types. English lovers can write the essays for Chairman's or WFA. Athletes can train for human player. People who couldn't care less what the robot looks like but can build a good website belong on the website team. Everyone has a niche they can help fill, regardless of technical ability. If nothing else, scouting and fundraising always need doing.

Can I be any more clear?
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