Thursday, June 28, 2012

Communicator that I admire.

Someone I believe is a great communicator is my previous supervisor Judy Gray.  Ms. Gray is able to speak in large groups and yet you fell like she is talking right to you.  She was able to change her communication style to fit the group.  She has presented at large state and national conferences as well parent training for groups of three and four people.  To me that is the sign of a good communicator.

I would like to model my communication skills after hers because I am very impressed with the way she is able to hold people’s attention when she speaks.  Presently when I run a parent meeting is turns out to be more like what we saw in the video, with people texting and answering their phones.  I would love to become a confident communicator.

Another area of Ms. Gray’s communication style that I would like to emulate is her ability to deal with conflict in a professional and competent manner.  I have seen her fire people and they still like her.  She was able to deal with very difficult personal and professional issues while maintain her composure and staying respectful and empathetic to the person being disciplined.

These are all skills I hope to have in my own supervision style.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hopes and goals for the future

  • The hope I have for working with families of diverse backgrounds is understanding.  I hope to be able understand their hopes and desires for their child and how I can work respectfully to build those goals.  Working for Head Start for the past twenty years, I thought I had a great understanding of diversity.  The reading and assignments in the last 8 weeks have opened my eyes to how blind to diversity I truly was.  I hope to go forth on my journey with both eyes wide open.

  • One goal I would set for the EC field in general is to keep working towards social justice and equity for all.  I have always said that hatred is taught, it is not something we are born with.  If we as teachers make a conscious effort to teach diversity, tolerance and respect, maybe we can impact how the next few generations go out and interact with the world.  The global society is becoming more and more the norm in business and politics.  We do not exist in a bubble, not as individual,families, or countries. I would like very much to be part of the professions that help alleviate social injustice.and discrimination.
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  • I want to thank everyone for sharing their diverse views on this subject.  Someone once told me, "I  don't wish you pain but I wish you growth".  I think that as we continue on your journey of growth there will be pain as we examine our thoughts and past experiences.  I really feel like I have brown through this class.
  • Saturday, June 16, 2012

    Welcoming new children

    There is a young girl who is going to be coming to my four year old classroom, her name is Kumu and she lives with her Father, Mother and younger brother Akui.   The family had recently immigrated to the United States from Mumbai India.

    In order to prepare myself to offer Kumu and her family a welcoming entrance into our school I first had them fill out our Family Culture Survey when they completed the enrollment paper.

    Secondly, because I found out that Kumu and her mother were English language learners, I found  several words in Marathi and practiced how to say things like,  welcome, good morning, and other helpful phrases.  Because there are over 3000 languages in India, I asked the family specifically which language Kumu was most comfortable with.

    I checked my classroom to make sure that there are dolls and other toys that reflect the Kumu’s culture and that there are things she is familiar with.

    On the Family culture form I asked Kumu’s family what types of foods they enjoyed and if there were any foods they specifically chose not to eat.  The family told me that Kumu was very open to trying new foods, and that she enjoyed many spices such as curry.  I asked Kumu’s mother is she would like to come into the classroom and share a recipe with the class through a cooking project. She was a little hesitant but said that she would like to try and participate.

    Finally, through my research into the parenting practices of families in Mumbai, I learned that for the most part parents and extended family member spend a great deal of time holding young children.  I asked Kumu’s mother if she had a specific toy or article such a blanket that would help her feel more comfortable in our class.  We decided that Kumu would like to bring a small photo of her family to keep in her cubby.

    By incorporating Kumu’s home language and culture, I hope to make the center a welcoming place for both the child and the family.  Through open communication with the family, I let them know that I am open to learning about their practices and supporting them in Kumu’s education.

    Monday, June 4, 2012

    Microaggression this week

    This week, I witnessed two instances of prejudice from my supervisor.  Because I have just gotten a new job, my supervisor and I were talking about the applications that were turned in for my old job.  After looking over the resumes, my supervisor shook her head and said, its a shame really, out here in the outlying areas we really have to take the best of the worst.  One of the applicants had their bachelors in child development and another had and AA.  Both had previous early childhood experience.  There was nothing worst about either one of the candidates..  I was insulted for them and for myself, I had worked here in this outlying area for 21 years.  As we looked over another application, I said that the applicant had a B.S. in Human Resources.  My supervisor replied," Yeah, but she did it all online.  You just don't get the same education as you would with other students in a classroom." 
    First off, there is nothing deficient or lacking from online universities.  Secondly, when you live 100  miles from the nearest city your educational opportunities are limited as far as classroom options,
    In one conversation my supervisor made derogatory comments about the people who live away from cities and people who choose to go to school online. 

    Both of which apply to me. 

    I felt very marginalized as though I was some how lacking from the people who lived in the city and attended a classroom type university. 
    What would have changed this situation is if my supervisor had realized how stereotypical her comments were.  She has never lived in an outlying area, nor has she taken on line classes yet she had made biased ideas about the people who have.

    I did not feel that I had the power to correct her, as she is the supervisor and can be very punitive if you go against her.  In a perfect world I would have called her on these comments by informing her that she was describing me in both situations and very negatively at that.