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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 09-19-2018, 09:59 PM
GeeTwo GeeTwo is offline
Somebody Else
AKA: Gus Michel II
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Re: Mentor to Team Relationship

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Originally Posted by brennonbrimhall View Post
Great thread. This topic has been on my mind a great deal for the past few weeks, but I'd like to approach this from a different perspective than merely how to refer to mentors by name.

I think most "traditional" teams probably meet these criteria:
  • Are affiliated with a particular high school as a club or sport.
  • Typically led by a school official.
  • Most mentors are "parent age," meaning that they're usually old enough to be parents of a high school student.
Many "traditional" teams that are more than a few years old also have at least a significant minority of mentors who are alumni, or older siblings of team members or alumni. (3946 currently has 2 alumni (one of whom has a sibling currently on the team), an older brother of an alumnus, and a never-student-member older sister of a student member who attend most meetings, as well as an alumnus who mentors regularly via internet and occasionally in person.

At some point, each team will need to figure out when and how "near peer" mentors transition to "Mr." and "Miss". Families, churches, and other multigenerational groups go through this all the time, so I expect it will be easier and more natural when the time comes than it appears here in 2018.
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  #17   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 09-19-2018, 09:59 PM
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Monochron Monochron is offline
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AKA: Brian O'Sullivan
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Re: Mentor to Team Relationship

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Originally Posted by brennonbrimhall View Post
Perhaps I'm too liberal, but I disagree. My philosophy in mentorship is to build up students who I can trust. I trust our team leadership, and that trust includes confidence in their ability to keep information confidential and handle operational stuff like finances. Frankly, the conduct of my students has been far more gracious and professional than some of the recent conduct by adults on CD.
In terms of inter-student conflict sure. But student's home-lives or potential personal issues that you are made aware of as a mentor aren't the business of their peers. If a parent or student wants to explain to mentors that a divorce or death in the family may affect that student, I don't think is the mentor's business to share.
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  #18   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 09-20-2018, 09:55 AM
brennonbrimhall brennonbrimhall is offline
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AKA: Brennon Brimhall
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Re: Mentor to Team Relationship

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Originally Posted by Monochron View Post
In terms of inter-student conflict sure. But student's home-lives or potential personal issues that you are made aware of as a mentor aren't the business of their peers. If a parent or student wants to explain to mentors that a divorce or death in the family may affect that student, I don't think is the mentor's business to share.
Perhaps I should clarify: my comment was directed towards the notion that students are inherently less mature and trustworthy than mentors. That's probably not what was intended to come across in the post, but that's how I read it. 6844 has been lucky to have fabulous students who inspire me to be a better human being.

You're totally right - not every situation is appropriate for student involvement. And if something confidential comes up where I am asked to not disclose something to students, including team captains, that will absolutely be honored. But I prefer transparency.
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Unread 09-20-2018, 10:21 AM
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Monochron Monochron is offline
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Re: Mentor to Team Relationship

Quote:
Originally Posted by brennonbrimhall View Post
Perhaps I should clarify: my comment was directed towards the notion that students are inherently less mature and trustworthy than mentors. That's probably not what was intended to come across in the post, but that's how I read it. 6844 has been lucky to have fabulous students who inspire me to be a better human being.
While there are certain exceptions (I know of many personally) in the general case, students are inherently less mature than mentors for physiological reasons. That doesn't mean that students can't act with the emotional intelligence of adults or that they can't take on large responsibilities with tact. But it means that taking pause before involving them in private student issues or legal issues. With the later they may not legally be able to contribute.
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  #20   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 09-20-2018, 10:35 AM
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Al Skierkiewicz Al Skierkiewicz is offline
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Re: Mentor to Team Relationship

When WildStang started in 1996, there were Motorola engineers and there were teachers. Then there was my wife and I. We were neither Motorolans or teachers. Quite frankly the team didn't know how to handle us. For a few years we were tolerated but made our own travel to events, bought our own t-shirts, showed up during the build season and worked on the team. Then a Motorola manager noticed that we weren't included on the travel list to Champs and raised an issue with that. From that point on we were parent mentors. Even though we were in this limbo status we still felt very much part of the team. We had/have time invested in building the robot, working with the team on community outreach, working on Chairman's goals and especially as chaperones. We felt very strongly (and still do) that when the team succeeded we were part of that success just like every student, teacher or Motorola engineer. Our participation (or determination) paved the way for many other parents to become mentors and work with the students and other mentors to help make the program a success. I am happy that we now have a Parent's Organization that helps to support the team. My name tag still says WildStang and I still bleed tie dye 24 years later.
BTW, a vice president of Motorola thought I was an employee because he saw me all the time (more than ten years at that time). He asked what department I worked in so he could send my manager a good report. When I told him I worked some other place and never worked at Motorola he was surprised.
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