Friday, June 29, 2012

Competent Communication

I'm in a new course at Walden University and this course is all about communication. I believe we all need help in this field--even the best of communicators.

My sister in law is a great example of someone who is a good communicator. She is honest, listens to others, acknowledges the feelings of others, includes her emotions in the conversation, offers constructive criticism and it is apparent she is tuned in to the other person. We have the best conversations and I enjoy communicating with her. Sometimes she communicates through beautifully written letters. Most importantly she advocates for young children who cannot stand up for themselves--regardless of the feelings she hurts or the anger it causes. She wants the best for all children! 

I would love to communicate as effectively as her. Sometimes I leave out all the information to avoid confrontation. Sometimes I leave out emotions because it is hard to share my emotions with others. I must admit, I can write a competent, communicative letter when needed-but I don't do that often enough. She is someone I look up to on many levels--but especially communication!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Professional Hopes and Goals

This course has taught me so much. I have learned to open my mind and listen to the families when they speak to me about their child. As a mother, you want the best for your child and our preschool families are no different. I'm going to share a hope and goal I have for the EC field and for myself.

Hope: My hope for myself is to continue to remain open minded and anti-bias when working with young children and their families. When children begin their preschool experience, families look to us (the professionals) to make the experience as easy on the child/family as possible. They look to us to accept them as family. My hope is to continue to treat families and children as family.

Goal: My goal for the EC field is for the field to provide anti-bias curriculum and to never prejudice against any family or child. Each child is an individual with individual needs and the EC field should cherish and honor the individual needs of all children.

I would like to end this course with a note of thanks. I cannot thank my peers and my professor enough for the support and feedback I received. I enjoyed the interactions with everyone and the growth I've experienced can only be witnessed in my work--cannot be expressed in words.

Thanks again!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Welcoming Families Around the World

This week, the assignment really sparked my interest. Below is the topic:

You are working in an early childhood setting of your choice—a hospital, a child care center, a social service agency. You receive word that the child of a family who has recently emigrated from a country you know nothing about will join your group soon. You want to prepare yourself to welcome the child and her family. Luckily, you are enrolled in a course about diversity and have learned that in order to support families who have immigrated you need to know more than surface facts about their country of origin.

I decided to focus on Russia. I can honestly say I know nothing about Russia, about their culture, about their education and I do not understand their language :). Working at a public child-care center, many different cultures walk in the center and wish for childcare. When someone of a culture unknown to you enters, it is your duty as an educator to learn all you can about said culture so the family feels welcome. As an educator I would prepare myself for the child and his family.

Ways I would prepare:
1. I would research all I could about the culture of Russia. I would see what their day looks like--do they break in the afternoons for a rest? Do they follow certain traditions such as afternoon tea?
2. Are Russian families small? Is the child going to have a mother and father at functions or will he invite his whole family? I discovered that Russian families not only consist of mother and father, but of uncle, grandmother, grandfather, etc. (Master Russian, 2012). As an educator, I will prepare for the many guests that visit the classroom.
3. Although I would be unable to understand their language, I would find a translator so I can ask important questions about the family. I would listen and take notes on their culture so the child would feel respected in the classroom.
4. I would have words in Russian, along with other languages, posted throughout the classroom. This way the child and family would understand what items are represented in the classroom and have the comfort of seeing his written language.
5. I would conduct a home visit so I can see the families culture in the home. I've learned Russians make great hosts, and I will kindly accept their tea, cookie or perhaps even a gift without hesitation or resistance.

By committing to the traditions of my Russian family, I hope the child and family will feel as special as my other children. My hope would be the family would feel comfortable enough to visit the classroom, to allow me the honor of teaching their child and feel respected in the school setting. I wish this for all children, but I think it is so important to honor the children who have come from another country. Their world is different and we need to establish some form of home similarities in the classroom.

Master Russian (2012). Russian hospitality. Retrieved June 16, 2012, from

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Personal Side of Bias, Prejudice and Oppression

This week, we are asked to discuss personal biases that have happened to us personally or we have witnessed. This is not something I personally witnessed, but heard about from a friend of mine. My friend is African American and took her car to get serviced at a local repair shop. The repairman (Caucasian) was in a foul mood and my friend asked how long she would be without a car. His response... "you people get on my nerves". She said it took all she had not to slap him in the face. She said to him "excuse me" and he only mumbled something under his voice. She felt betrayed and hurt. She has never returned to this dealer and still feels very hurt by his actions.

This incident diminished equity because he decided that he was superior to my friend. Did he feel this way because of his race?

When my friend shared this story with me, I felt so hurt for her. How could he make such a harsh comment? Does he not have feelings at all? She is a person with feelings just as he is--how would he feel? It must have really hurt my friend to hold on to the story for years and to not forget this man's hurtful words.

This man needs to understand that no one is superior. There are no races that are greater than others, men are not greater than women, heterosexuals are not greater than homosexuals. We are all individuals with feelings and emotions. Change needs to occur with education. Someone needs to properly educate this man and other individuals who are prejudice.

This course has been so resourceful--it has been so great to learn and share these types of stories with my classmates!!!