As a coach, I spend hours looking at the mat with my team. I’ve spent even more time looking at it as I have helped other teams, built the sets needed for the Sydney Regional/Australian National competition, and blogged about all of it. After participating in the program for many years, it is my natural inclination to think about how to solve the missions, but I know I can’t do it! As it says in the FLL core values, “We do the work to find solutions with guidance from our coaches and mentors.” Or, in other words “The kids do the work!” I think every coach has this problem; how do we balance our natural curiosity and letting the students on the team do the work?
The Northern Peninsula Community of Schools (they were also mentioned in my first blog post.) have come up with one solution to this problem. They held a one day mini FLL competition for the teachers who coach their teams. Although the teachers only had a few hours to complete the missions, they gained invaluable experience through trial and error. Each of the teams had accomplished a few of the missions with one of the teams even working on a line follow!
By the end of the time, they were all hooked. No one wanted to leave! It was very inspirational to see the teachers so excited, and to know that they would transfer their enthusiasm back to their students. I know that they came away from the event with more experience with which they can mentor their teams. I can’t wait to see these teams at the 2010 Sydney Regional/Australian National competition in a month!