Odyssey of the Mind Expectations

In OotM, there are certain expectation of team members, parents, and coaches. We would like to spell them out. If you join an OotM team, you will need to abide by these expectations.

Expectations of Students

1. Your coach has VOLUNTEERED to work with your team. He/She is giving up some other activities in order to coach your team. Always remember that.

2. This is a school-sponsored activity. Regardless of whether the meetings are held at school or in someone’s home, behavior that is inappropriate at school is inappropriate at OotM meetings. Your coach can remove you from a meeting if you are interfering with the group’s progress.

3. In OotM, all ideas are worth hearing. Rude remarks about the ideas of others will not be tolerated.

4. Being on a team means begin responsible for your share of the tasks. If you volunteer to do something, follow through.

5. OotM is an extracurricular activity. This means it should not interfere with your school work in any way. Homework before OotM work!!

Expectations of Parents

1. Please be considerate of coaches’ time. Be prompt when dropping off or picking up at meetings.

2. Do not schedule appointments for your child during the time usually reserved for the team’s regular meeting unless it is absolutely unavoidable. At meetings, every team member is needed.

3. Expenses incurred by the team in creating its solution must be shared by team members. Some coaches are uncomfortable about asking for money, so make it a point to ask from time to time. Materials should not cost much, but the coach should not have to pay for everything.

4. Please don’t say: “I wish I could help you, but I work”. We are all busy people. We all work full time. Helping the team by being a go-fer, assisting the coach, or providing a snack can be very inconvenient, but it’s part of the package. Please try to say yes when the coach asks for something.

5. If you have any concerns about your child, the team’s progress, or the coach, communicate with the appropriate party. Don’t wait for a small problem to become a big one. Tell the coach or the OotM Coordinator.

Expectations of Coaches

1. Coaches should give team members and parents monthly meeting calendars so that everyone knows when and where meetings will be held.

2. Coaches should help every team member contribute his or her unique skills and talents to the solution of the problem. In all teams, there are members who are outgoing and assertive, and members who are quiet and less likely to volunteer ideas. Coaches should try to “level the playing field” so that all members of a team feel comfortable sharing ideas and expertise.

3. Coaches must have respect for the integrity of the team’s solution. “No Outside Assistance” means just that. The coach should never allow his/her ideas to enter into the team’s solution.

4. Coaches MAY NOT have competitive goals for the team. A coach’s role in OotM is to oversee the process, to help the team organize itself to meet its own goals. Out of all the teams in your State, only 13 will go World Finals. Pushing the team towards its best effort is different from pushing the team to win. Emphasizing “winning” rather than “best effort” may result in the team feeling a sense of failure at anything less than First Prize. Coaches need to remember that (a) the emphasis should be on the PROCESS of getting to the performance itself; and (b) above all else, OotM is supposed to be FUN!


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