My Partners Don't Work Together

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My Partners Don't Work Together

Post by eagerlearner102 » December 18th, 2020, 8:31 am

I should have written this on the forum a lot earlier. My partners work well together if they are good classmates or friends, but if they don't know each other that well then one ends up taking the test while the other one doesn't show up. I thought of solving this problem by placing the one that doesn't do the work in other events like trial events, but I feel this is avoiding the actual problem. How should I confront members who do not show up to their events, causing the other partner to do the entire test by themselves? Before, I would tell them that the other partner expected them to show up and they would say things like "I forgot" and "I am sorry." However, I do not buy into that excuse after this has happened the second time.
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Re: My Partners Don't Work Together

Post by SilverBreeze » December 18th, 2020, 4:46 pm

eagerlearner102 wrote:
December 18th, 2020, 8:31 am
I should have written this on the forum a lot earlier. My partners work well together if they are good classmates or friends, but if they don't know each other that well then one ends up taking the test while the other one doesn't show up. I thought of solving this problem by placing the one that doesn't do the work in other events like trial events, but I feel this is avoiding the actual problem. How should I confront members who do not show up to their events, causing the other partner to do the entire test by themselves? Before, I would tell them that the other partner expected them to show up and they would say things like "I forgot" and "I am sorry." However, I do not buy into that excuse after this has happened the second time.
Are they interested in SciOly in the first place? People do SciOly for reasons other than enjoying it, such as to spend time with friends, because their parents made them, because they did it in the past and feel an obligation to do it again, or for clout. If that's the case, no amount of cajoling can make them pull their weight.

Talk to them and try to ask/figure out why they don't show up. Make sure you show that you're willing to be understanding if it's something like them feeling stressed and too busy or something happened with their family. Tell them that, if they know they are unavailable ahead of time, it would be better to contact you or their partner instead of making their partner take the test all by themselves. Not every team has enough interest to be able to afford cutting people who consistently flake. If you do have the option of cutting, though, make it clear they will be cut from the team if they continue to not show up. If SciOly is lower on their priority list (and that's okay!) and you have multiple teams, you could discuss moving them to a B or C team so they have more time to focus on other things. (I believe moving them to working on trial events serves the same purpose for a smaller SciOly program)

Long story short, try to figure out what's going on, and if they genuinely don't want to do it for some reason, there's not much you can do besides cut them off the team or move them to trial events.
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sciolyperson1 (December 18th, 2020, 11:29 pm) • eagerlearner102 (December 19th, 2020, 8:41 am) • pepperonipi (December 19th, 2020, 11:42 am) • gz839918 (December 21st, 2020, 11:43 am)
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Re: My Partners Don't Work Together

Post by BrownieInMotion » December 19th, 2020, 5:59 pm

If they didn't offer any excuse you should kick them off the team, period. When you join any organization you commit to, at the absolute minimum, showing up. Failing to show up when you have committed to doing so, then not even offering what sounds like a genuine apology afterward, is categorically unacceptable by any standard.

Also, even if they have things going on outside of Science Olympiad that was their actual reason for being absent, it is neither your responsibility nor even the right thing to do to dig into their personal lives in an attempt to figure that out. If they really wanted to bring it up they would have done so much earlier and of their own volition.
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Re: My Partners Don't Work Together

Post by gz839918 » December 21st, 2020, 1:26 pm

BrownieInMotion wrote:
December 19th, 2020, 5:59 pm
If they didn't offer any excuse you should kick them off the team, period. When you join any organization you commit to, at the absolute minimum, showing up. Failing to show up when you have committed to doing so, then not even offering what sounds like a genuine apology afterward, is categorically unacceptable by any standard.

Also, even if they have things going on outside of Science Olympiad that was their actual reason for being absent, it is neither your responsibility nor even the right thing to do to dig into their personal lives in an attempt to figure that out. If they really wanted to bring it up they would have done so much earlier and of their own volition.
Yes, attendance is critical to participating in a team of any nature and purpose, but I would disagree with the second paragraph. People don't always feel comfortable bringing up their personal lives, because they may fear that others may judge them, or because they simply don't have the time to make their excuse to the team, or because of a combination of the two. After all, many high schoolers are unsure about how to write emails and worry about whether they're doing it right, and it takes much longer than expected. Also worth noting is that most human beings tend to overestimate the role of volition in others' behavior. In the case of eagerlearner, who's said in past threads that few people sign up for Science Olympiad at their school, it may be more important to bump up attendance than to kick members without reaching out to them first, because people who get kicked go from members who might not show up, to members who definitely won't show up, and having no members means having no team.

Next, I would urge caution about any conclusion based on "they would have done so much earlier" because there is no clear standard for sufficiently early. When I was a little kid, I was sent to a summer camp where I loathed the camp counselors, and one of my gripes was how they denied simple things like using the restroom. If I asked "can I go to the restroom?", they would tell me "well, why didn't you ask five minutes ago?" But if I had asked five minutes ago, like that kid in the white shirt did, then they would have told me the same thing they told her, "well, why didn't you ask five minutes ago?" And if I had asked earlier like that kid who asked ten minutes ago, "well, why didn't you ask five minutes ago?" When it's unclear whether a teammate is slacking under pressure or cracking under pressure, then asking them what's going on in their life could start the conversation needed to get to the bottom of why they haven't showed up. Sometimes things couldn't happen earlier because of the pandemic, and reaching out is a way to draw them back into SciOly. If they feel more welcome as a result of that conversation, that's a bonus, because people are more likely to show up if they feel welcome. No matter what though, boosting attendance is one of the priorities for this team, and I would lean more towards SilverBreeze's methods, which have many strengths for situations like these.
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Re: My Partners Don't Work Together

Post by knightmoves » December 22nd, 2020, 11:22 am

eagerlearner102 wrote:
December 18th, 2020, 8:31 am
I should have written this on the forum a lot earlier. My partners work well together if they are good classmates or friends, but if they don't know each other that well then one ends up taking the test while the other one doesn't show up. I thought of solving this problem by placing the one that doesn't do the work in other events like trial events, but I feel this is avoiding the actual problem. How should I confront members who do not show up to their events, causing the other partner to do the entire test by themselves?
Science Olympiad is a team endeavor - not a whole bunch of separate tests that individuals or pairs do. This year, with everything happening remotely, it's much harder to foster team spirit than when everyone is huddled together in the team room at a competition. My recommendation is to have your team hang out together on zoom all day, just as if it was the team room. Everyone shows up half an hour or so before the first event, then event partners leave to go to their events, then come back to the zoom afterwards to brag / complain about the test.
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Re: My Partners Don't Work Together

Post by pepperonipi » December 22nd, 2020, 5:05 pm

knightmoves wrote:
December 22nd, 2020, 11:22 am
eagerlearner102 wrote:
December 18th, 2020, 8:31 am
I should have written this on the forum a lot earlier. My partners work well together if they are good classmates or friends, but if they don't know each other that well then one ends up taking the test while the other one doesn't show up. I thought of solving this problem by placing the one that doesn't do the work in other events like trial events, but I feel this is avoiding the actual problem. How should I confront members who do not show up to their events, causing the other partner to do the entire test by themselves?
Science Olympiad is a team endeavor - not a whole bunch of separate tests that individuals or pairs do. This year, with everything happening remotely, it's much harder to foster team spirit than when everyone is huddled together in the team room at a competition. My recommendation is to have your team hang out together on zoom all day, just as if it was the team room. Everyone shows up half an hour or so before the first event, then event partners leave to go to their events, then come back to the zoom afterwards to brag / complain about the test.
Maybeeeee. I'm not super opposed to this idea, but I've heard from some people that staying on a Google Meet/Zoom gets tiring after a while. Constantly having to communicate through a computer, making sure your webcam looks okay, etc. can be frustrating and tiring for some students, especially those who do it for school.

Instead of doing this for team spirit, I suggest interactive programs for your team. Throw a digital game night for team where you all get on a MC server or play skribbl. Meet up in a local park where you can be together COVID free. Host a watch party where you guys can watch a movie together. Ideas like that where you can be together and have fun with each other!
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Re: My Partners Don't Work Together

Post by SilverBreeze » December 22nd, 2020, 6:42 pm

Team group chats can be less stressful than team video calls. I think after-award game nights have been working relatively well for us, although it's harder to get shy people or people with strict parents involved.
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Re: My Partners Don't Work Together

Post by sAkEtH » January 5th, 2021, 6:16 am

knightmoves wrote:
December 22nd, 2020, 11:22 am
eagerlearner102 wrote:
December 18th, 2020, 8:31 am
I should have written this on the forum a lot earlier. My partners work well together if they are good classmates or friends, but if they don't know each other that well then one ends up taking the test while the other one doesn't show up. I thought of solving this problem by placing the one that doesn't do the work in other events like trial events, but I feel this is avoiding the actual problem. How should I confront members who do not show up to their events, causing the other partner to do the entire test by themselves?
Science Olympiad is a team endeavor - not a whole bunch of separate tests that individuals or pairs do. This year, with everything happening remotely, it's much harder to foster team spirit than when everyone is huddled together in the team room at a competition. My recommendation is to have your team hang out together on zoom all day, just as if it was the team room. Everyone shows up half an hour or so before the first event, then event partners leave to go to their events, then come back to the zoom afterwards to brag / complain about the test.
From my experience, this hasn't been effective at our school. I think that may just be because only a select group of 10ish people actually enjoy the homeroom, even during in-person competitions. However, I still think it's a great idea if everyone likes homeroom.
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Re: My Partners Don't Work Together

Post by cards104171 » February 8th, 2021, 10:26 am

If this makes you feel better, some in my team don't either (unless they're besties or something). Some aren't interested period.
Students on my team mostly always show up to their tests, except a few in my personal experience only did a couple of questions and left the rest to me.
I recommend that your school does little mini-training sessions (my school does it for each event once a week for 1 hour), or if they don't, then try organizing them among yourselves. You might want to tell your head coach on which students have constantly been not going to their events.
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