Mentors have a very unique perspective on the operation of a team. We stand back, helping, guiding, facilitating learning and group skills. We are there to give advice, to help with team management and to do some of the grown-up jobs that are associated with FIRST. We see team members working under pressure, struggling with deadlines and conflict resolution skills. We see returning members teaching new members, we watch enthusiasm spread, we watch bonds of friendship grow.
As mentors from time to time we think about all the “other” things we could or maybe should be doing with my time, but days like today we can’t think of anything else we would rather be doing. Today we were so proud of our team and their choices. Today, we found out that we didn’t have enough teams register for our FLL tournament, and that it needed to be canceled. At times like this, we mentors can get discouraged. The time spent planning and preparing might seem like it was wasted. The teams that had signed up for our regional will now have to change their schedules and try to register for a different competition. It’s a difficult task to deliver that kind of news to our FLL friends.
When our students found out that some of the FLL kids that had registered for our tournament would not be able to take part in a regional with the rest of their team due to conflicting schedules, they were upset. They didn’t hesitate to volunteer to run a practice tournament for them. They know there is a lot of work involved in doing this and we’ll need to find some new volunteers to fill in some of the gaps, but they eagerly stepped up. They noted that we owe it to all of our FLL friends that have signed up. It’s so amazing when you see a group of kids come together like this to do something for the community. The lessons we are trying to instill are obviously getting through. In the end it’s so much more than just about robots!
In life, there are so many times that we face disappointments, and bad news. We are so proud of our K-Bots and how maturely they handled themselves today, as they came to a very positive solution to an unfortunate set of circumstances. With positive attitudes, generous spirits, and creative problem solving skills, we know our K-Bots will go far.
So many times we mentors are able to see our K-Bots step up as they did today. We think it is important to share these moments with the larger K-Botics family.