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Time Well Spent

Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared and developed a sense of community with my community of practice; and now I share my thoughts on completing my program and on the value of my colleagues’ input and support throughout my journey. Whether we’d like to believe it or not, we are all connected in a web that interconnects us.

At the center is me! Making the choice to go back to school after getting married, having two children, and a pivotal point in my personal life was a challenge. Walden has helped me get started by providing a program and infrastructure that complimented my educational need. I was able to familiarize myself with the staff at the university; and they e been nothing but supportive and understanding. My advisor was able to guide and direct me to the best resources available to help me succeed and because of this I was able to align my goals and aspirations with Walden’s vision, mission, and integrity.

At the beginning of each week, I was asked and challenged to think outside the box on various topics and discussions that involved current events, micro-aggressions, and the most challenging of all – a Capstone Project. With each learning objective, I’ve learned to create communities of practice that are engaged in problem solving, share information, sharing experiences and assets, identify and bridging gaps, and finding resources. Because of “these concrete efforts” my CoP can serve to advance advocacy and positive social change” it makes it possible for others to have “equal… efforts, communities of practice provide each other with inspiration.

Conclusively, I couldn’t have finished this journey without my professors and colleagues. They’re words of inspiration and drive, pushed me to my max. They asked questions and made comments to my work that made me think about things I hadn’t thought about. They were supportive by giving me encouraging words and feedback and for that I thank you. In the words of Sonia Johnson (n.d.), “We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.” I could not have done it without you!

Resources:

Laureate Education, Inc. (2011). Interconnections, Part III. Retrieved from http://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/EDUC/6990/08/mm/interconnections/index.html

Laureate Education, Inc. (2011). Merging Vision, Passion, and Practice (Media). Retrieved from http://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/EDUC/6990/01/mm/ec_pres/index.html

Sonia Johnson Quotes. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved April 30, 2021, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/sonia_johnson_132688

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The Personal Side of Bias, Prejudice, and Oppression

Over the last few weeks, I’ve learned, observed, and shared examples of microaggressions. I’ve also learned about personal biases as well as institutional prejudices, oppression, and that anyone can encounter these incidents of inequality.

I can remember an incident where witnessed one of my family members become a target of bias, prejudice, and oppression. It was Saturday night and we were all at a church basketball game. During the last quarter, a fight broke out because one of the players felt the referee didn’t call the right call. Surprisingly, the fight escalated as quickly as it started. My cousins and aunt were already heading outside when someone yelled, “He’s got a gun!”

Shortly after leaving the gym, they decided to wait for my cousin’s girlfriend. As my aunt and her three younger sons were waiting in the car, the police pull up behind the car, rush up and slam my cousin to the car. In a frightened tone, my aunt quickly came out of the car and asked “What are y’all doing?!” My cousin answered, “It’s okay, mom.” My aunt replied, “No, it’s not! Take your hands off of my child!” As the police then told her to get back in the car, she said, “No! Get off my son! He didn’t do anything wrong!” The police, then, explained that they were responding to the call of a person carrying a gun in the area. The police continued to pat down my cousin and asked if he had a weapon on him. My cousin said, “No, “I don’t have anything except my Bible.” Then the police stood him up, questioned him, then left.

This specific incident put a bad taste in my mouth. I was lead to believe that the police was put in place to PROTECT and SERVE. I understand that they were doing their “job” but you went about it all wrong. This kind of bias and prejudice shown in this incident was, there was a black young man in the vicinity of where you got the call about a young man with a gun. My cousin wasn’t running, nor did he resist the police. He was waiting for someone and had his hand on the door with my aunt and three cousins in the car waiting as well. I was overwhelmed with so many emotions and feelings that I wasn’t able to process what I had just happened. Feelings of being scared, speechless, being afraid that my cousin was going to get aressted, and my aunt may have been tazed or arressted herself for misorderaly conduct. Who was going to drive us home? Why are the targetting us?

This incident could’ve gone a different way, where it could’ve been an opportunity for greater equity. Equity is the sence that “treatment that is fair and just, taking into account the capacities of individuals, while not dscriminating because of racial identity” in this case (Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J. O., 2010, xii) . The police officers could’ve approached my family in a just manner. The police could’ve asked questions about why there were there or what they were doing. The Bible says, “Ask! And it should be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened unto you; For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh. findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be open” (Matthew 7:7-8). If the police officers had asked, instead of insinuating that my cousin was the perp – my aunt wouldn’t have had to come out of the car and the conversation wouldn’t have been considered aggressive.

References:

Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J. O. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), p. xii

The Bible, Matthew 7:7,8

Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: Internationally

Over the last few weeks, I’ve traveled down the road of searching for jobs locally, state-wide, and nationally in the early childhood organizations, agencies, and communities of practice. These explorations have helped me imagine my in a “variety of jobs that foster the well-being of children, families, and the early childhood field” (Laureate, 2011).

Today, I will explore the international community of early childhood. I’m a bit excited because this opportunity not only will inspire my thinking about places you might like to work and live, but also the roles I might like to take on anywhere in the world.

Three international organizations and/or communities of practice that appealed to me that work for positive change for children and their families are:

  • Save the Children : this organization serves also as a community of practice. They have the ability to organize, delegate, and execute plans for making the world a better place for children. They “work in the hardest-to-reach places, where it’s toughest to be a child” (Save the Children, 2020). While employment opportunities aren’t mentioned on their site, there many ways to help support their mission and get involved. Two that caught my attention were volunteering and becoming an advocate for the children. Advocates help “to take action on critical issues and urge government leaders to make children a top priority” (Save the Children, 2020).
  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) : This organization provides information and articles on the struggles against stigmatization on children with disabilities; like autism. Their purpose is to “save children’s lives, defend their rights, and to help them fulfill their potential” throughout life (UNICEF, n.d.). This organization also does not mention job opportunities on their site. However, volunteering “to help us reach the children and young people in greatest need” is encouraged and supported. No prior experience is required to volunteer. Once placed at a UNICEF country office, you are provided with the support and necessary training to become an advocate for positive change (UNICEF, n.d.).
  • Autism Behavioral Intervention NSW : This organization provides assessments and behavioral interventions piloted behind the ABA principles. Their mission is to “provide A family centered approach to delivering the evidence-based practice of ABA to families” (Autism Behavioral Intervention, 2021). To join their team you’re “required to have a NDIS Worker Screening Check” (Autism Behavioral Intervention, 2021). One that sparked interest with this organization was the Senior Behaviour Specialist. For this position, you have to have a degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) or Positive Behaviour Support (PBS); in addition to having prior experience working with children in a behavioral therapy framework.

Resources

Autism Behavioral Intervention. (2021). Retrieved from https://behaviourplus.org

Save the Children. (2020). Retrieved from http://www.savethechildren.org/

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.unicef.org/

Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: National/Federal Level

In my last post, I took you down the rabbit hole to look at local and state early childhood organizations, agencies, and communities of practice. We focused on exploring the local and state roles in the early childhood education community. This week, however, we will explore national organizations and federal agencies. With these explorations, I believe it can help me imagine myself in a diversity of jobs that can help encourage and promote the well-being of children, families, early childhood programs, and the early intervention field.

  • Policy Project Administrator – This position was posted by Georgia’s Department of Human Services. Qualifications for this position include having a Bachelor’s degree in business or related field from an accredited college AND four years of experience related to area of assignment.
  • Special Instructor – Public Health, Georgia Department of – DPH – Georgia. Their purpose is to “provides the local health district with direct intervention services, support and education to children and families enrolled in the BCW program by using the Primary Service Provider (PSP) model” (DPH, n.d.). Qualifications for this position include attaining a bachelor’s degree; preferred majors include Early Childhood Education, Special Education, Child and Family Studies, and Early Intervention.
  • Service Coordinator – Their purpose is to act as the clients advocate, to coordinate required services, or to resolve crisis. Additionally, they help identify environmental impediments to client of patient progress through interviews and review of patient records by monitoring, evaluating, and keeping record of the client’s progress according to the measurable goals described in their individualized family service plans (IFSP). Minimum requirements for this position include having a “Master’s degree in a related field from an accredited college or university AND eligibility to be licensed OR Bachelor’s degree in a related field from an accredited college or university AND Two years of experience in social service delivery” (Department of Public Health, 2021).

Although the positions mentioned aren’t entirely governmental jobs, they are positions that can be used to inspire my thinking; not only about places I’d like to work but also roles I might like to take on in the field, now and in the future. Interestingly, the mission and goals of each focal position named above is to help make positive change in the area of the early intervention field.

References

Clayton County Health District. (2021). Babies Can’t Wait Service Coordinator. Retrieved from https://www.claytoncountypublichealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/BCW-Service-Provider_2021.pdf

Team Georgia Careers. (2021). Policy Project Administrator. Retrieved from https://ga.taleo.net/careersection/ga_external/jobdetail.ftl?job=ADM0AUM&tz=GMT-05%3A00&tzname=America%2FChicago

Team Georgia Careers. (2020). Special Instructor (Contractor). Retrieved from https://ga.taleo.net/careersection/ga_external/jobdetail.ftl?job=HEA05FD&tz=GMT-05%3A00&tzname=America%2FChicago.

Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: Local and State Levels

As I begin my exploration by looking at various organizations, agencies, and communities of practice that operate in my neighborhood, city, borough, county, and/or state; I take note at the missions statements and goals of each. Within these missions, I found myself immersed in the work that they do and learned so much about the focus and purpose they are trying to convey.

Three local organizations of practice that appealed to me were:

  • Georgia Department of Public Health (GaDPH)
  • Department of Family & Children Services (DFCS)
  • Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS)

GaDPH provides services for “children and women including comprehensive health exams, testing, education and access to community resources” (GaDPH, 2020). They are mission is “ to prevent disease, injury and disability; promote health and well-being; and prepare for and respond to disasters” (GaDPH, 2020). One extension of this organization is the Babies Can’t Wait (BCW) program. They are an early intervention program that offers a variety of services for infants and toddlers with special needs. When checking for career opportunities for this organization, it stated that in order to apply, you would need an associate degree at minimum to work as a special instructor with Babies Can’t Wait (Georgia Department of Public Health, 2020).

Rockdale County DFCS provide a number of services for children and their families. One in particular is that they provide supplemental funding to feed vulnerable families, in addition to providing families with ways to receive quality early childhood education through their CAPS program. Upon searching their careers opportunities, I stumbled upon one that sparked an interest. Currently, they I have a position open for a Training & Development Specialist 3 (Special Projects Unit). Some of the roles and responsibilities for this position include: developing, delivering, and coordinating trainings for DFCS policy programs. Interestingly enough, the educational qualifications are minimal to a “high school diploma or GED; in three years of experience providing educational, training or instructional services in functional areas” (Georgia Department of Family & Children Services, 2020).

GEEARS is a non-profit organization that provides leadership for a statewide movement on quality early learning development for all children ages birth through five. They believe that “the first three years of life represent the most rapid . of been development, and experiences during these years critically shaped future development” (GEEARS, 2020). Although they do not have any current job openings, they do have opportunities for you to be an advocate for early childhood. With this you can use your voice with members of legislation to “support State and federal policies and funding for early education and health programs” (GEEARS, 2020). This opportunity does not require a particular level of education because there are various ways you can be an advocate for this cause.

I picked these three organizations because they provide services that help children and their families with the main necessities as well as therapeutic services for children with disabilities.

Resources:

Georgia Department of Family & Children Services. (2020). Retrieved from https://dfcs.georgia.gov

Georgia Department of Family & Children Services. (2020). DHS Jobs. Retrieved from https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/dhsgeorgia/jobs/3011858/training-development-specialist-3-special-projects-unit-00180767?sort=Salary%7CDescending&keywords=community%20and%20social%20services&pagetype=jobOpportunitiesJobs

Georgia Department of Public Health. (2020). Retrieved from https://dph.georgia.gov

Georgia Department of Public Health. (2020). Babies Can’t Wait. Retrieved from https://dph.georgia.gov/babies-cant-wait

Georgia Early and Education Alliance for Ready Students. (2020). Retrieved from https://geears.org

Week 1: Building the Foundation of an Early Childhood Program

It’s the beginning of a new course and we’re already starting to build the foundation of our projected ECP. Imagine being given the opportunity of a lifetime! Your dreams for your own early childhood program have come true. You have a fully funded program that you may design in any way you wish, in the location of your choosing.

As a program director, we tend to be placed in a position of making decisions that are essential to our program’s philosophy, operations, policies, and systems. As we go through this, we learn that “part of the process of building a new program (and inherent to the success of any quality program) is the development of a detailed and meaningful vision” (Laureate, 2011).

As I imagine, my program has been running successfully for the past year. We’ve had twenty new children enrolled during each fiscal year as children graduate and progress to the public school system. Many of our parents have expressed gratitude and have become a part of our center’s family. The community has been involved in volunteering their time by reading for our children, chaperoning on field trips during the summer months, and donating equipment and items for our classroom centers.  

With our parents and community involved with the development and learning of our children, the components of our vision have been most compelling. Kennedy (2008) states that ‘providing high quality programs or services for young children and families is a professionally challenging and highly complex endeavor” (p. 46). Having a vision and mission statement is critical to any center and the development of their programs. Our vision is to create and maintain a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment, where staff, children and their families are able to grow and develop naturally. Our mission statement is to celebrate the strengths of all learners and promote physical, socio-emotional, language, and cognitive growth of all children through developmentally appropriate practices that serve as a foundation for future learning. 

Hay (2010) explains that the importance of having a mission statement in to inform others of our “values, those aspects of the organization which are not subject to the benchmarks others impose, and which we do not seek to trade” (p. 94). I remember one of my colleagues mentioning in our last class that they revamp their mission statement yearly to accommodate their programs. I believe that this is a great idea for centers, as they evolve over time to accommodate the children they service. “The more clearly you can envision all aspects of your program, the better you can articulate your vision for your program” (Laureate, 2011).

Resources:

Hay, S. (2010). Why have a mission statement? Exchange, (191), 94–96.

Kennedy, A. (2008). You are welcome: An ethical approach to child care. Exchange, (183), 46–48.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Planning and Managing Early Childhood Programs: Developing Your Vision. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu 

Reflecting on Communication in the Early Childhood Field

Throughout this course, I’ve been learning about communication, team building, and collaboration strategies and skills that will support you as an early childhood professional. No doubt you will be in collegial environments in which people work together toward a common goal—ensuring the health and well-being of young children and their families.

The late Jim Rohn said, “If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully you can work miracles.” It will be much easier to have a good conversation with someone if you are engaged and really caring about the things they are saying.

As I reflect, I’ve realized that I’ve been forged into a A collaborative learning community with my colleagues. We’ve shared information and insights with each other and support each other through the journey. As I prepare to move on into my specialization, I would like to take a minute to thank the colleagues that have supported me, given me great advice, and I’d like to also wish them well as they continue down their professional path.

  • Lewanda Taybron: you have a beautiful soul. I’ve read your discussion posts and you’ve given me some insights on looking at things from a different perspective. I appreciate your feedback and zeal in the questions you’ve asked that has pushed me outside the box to think in a more direct way; not to mention, the cake topper, you’re a Sabbath keeper. In your introduction to the class, you mentioned that and it felt reassuring to know you identified that as part of your culture. I’d like to wish you much blessings and success in your endeavors as you travel down life’s highway. May the Most High bless you and keep you and your family.
  • Leonie Buchanan-Givans: I truly enjoyed reading your blog posts. So many experiences and knowledge you’ve shared with me (and others) through that platform avenue. I wish for much success as well and when you reach that end goal of finishing this journey, you’ll look back and say “It was well worth it.”

Although I’ve chosen these specific two to focus on, many of my colleagues have been very influential on my professional journey. I’d love to keep in touch with as many of you as possible. It’s always a pleasure to communicate and collaborate with fellow people who have the same interests. Feel free to reach out whenever you can. You can follow me on IG at @bridgingthega.eic. Thanks to all the people that followed me, as well as my collegues that have helped me see and learn. I look forward to the encouragement and support of each of us as we move through the program. I look forward to many more lessons in the future.

Team Building and Collaboration, Part I

“To build a collaborative environment in which everyone feels respected and valued, team building is the essential first step” (Laureate, 2011). This week I read about the five stages of team development: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Considering these stages, the adjourning phase, there have been several groups in which I’ve been involved, where I didn’t think we’d get to that point but we did. Think about which aspects of the groups made for the hardest good-bye.

“The ‘forming’ stage takes place when the team first meets each other” (Abudi, 2010, par. 5). I would call this the introductory section of the groups formation. Although each member is learning about the goals, vision, objectives, and what role each member will play, it’s “important for the team leader to be very clear about team goals and provide clear direction regarding the project” (Abudi, 2010, par. 6). What I consider the worst stage, is the storming stage. I believe this is what will make or break the group as a whole. Unfortunatly, “this stage is not avoidable; every team – most especially a new team who has never worked together before – goes through this part of developing as a team” (Abudi, 2010, par. 7).

The next two stages, norming & performing, are “focused on developing a way of working together” (Abudi, 2010, par. 11) and “reaching the goal as a group” (Abudi, 2010, par. 13). However, the last stage, adjourning, “the project is coming to an end and the team members are moving off into different directions” (Abudi, 2010, par. 17). This is probably the easiest for some and yet the hardest part of being in the group. For me, it’s the hardest.

When previously employed at Amazon, I was placed in a group that was so discombobulated that it needed a complete redo. I was added to the team after it was already formed but I knew the members on a business level and not so much on a social level. One meeting, I introduced myself and made suggestions and challenged the team leader from the very beginning. He gave me tasks to complete and I completed them along with showing the other team members on effective ways to complete their tasks as well. Because the team lead know my style and knew the others couldn’t complete their’s to that capacity, he looked to me to do the hard tasks and to help my team members when and where needed. After being in this dysfunctional team for so long, we found out how to survive each other and when each member broke away and went off to start new branches of the company, the commodity was missed. For me, I missed the team meetings, the food, the jokes, the laughs, and even when we were wrong they defended us then told us off behind closed doors.

To this day, I still keep in contact with them, even though I’ve left Amazon, they welcome me when I visit and ask if I’m coming back and that things haven’t been the same since I left; and I can agree. It hasn’t. When we separated, we didn’t have a ritual but in a way we socially are still together.

“Ideas alone cannot fully link people together. What connects people is not mere ideas but deep personal commitments. Commitments involve feeling, passion, and drive. Ideas only bring heads together. (Williams, 2007, p. 139)” (Laureate, 2011). During my time at Walden, I can’t imagine I will adjourn from relationships I formed while working on your master’s degree. When bonds are formed, they are hard to break if they are genuine. And, although we won’t be on the same journey, adjourning is important for growth. In some cases, members of a team can hold you back from your true potential.

Resources

Abudi, G. (2010). The five stages of team development: A case study. Retrieved from http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/the-five-stages-of-team-development-a-case-study.html

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Communication and Collaboration in the Early Childhood Field: Team Building and Collaboration, Part I. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Team building strategies [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Nonviolent Communication & Conflict Management

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart” (Nelson Mandela).

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Prov. 15:1 (KJV).

“Conflict is not simply an argument or a struggle; it’s an interaction between two or more Inter depende t people who perceive that they have contradictory goals or scarce resources” (O’Hair, 2015, p. 214). However, conflict management is the “way that we engage in conflict and address disagreements with our relational partners” (O’Hair, 205, p. 214). I can think of many instances and conversations, I’ve had, that either ended in disagreements. In those conversations, many have turned to arguments where I’ve experienced conflict emotional and spiritually.

In 1998, I was friends with one of the unpopular girls at girl. She claimed that no one was nice to her and I felt bad that no one was her friend. For months, we went many places together and had many daring and mischievous adventures. In was a Friday night and we were all at church. I remember as my dad pulled up to the front doors of the church, a crowd gathered and she was in the midst of the crowd. I got out and walked to the front door and asked her if she was okay. It was at that moment she accused me of “stealing” her boyfriend.

I had no idea what she was talking about. However, she proceeded to accuse me of hanging out with him, sharing a soda with him, and sitting by him. She then walked up to me and took my glasses off my face and said she was going to hit me in the face for betraying her. As the drama and instigators continued, I took my glasses back and told her, “If you’re going to hit me over a boy, then do it. I thought we were friends. Friends don’t accuse each other of this like this without coming to each other first. So, if you’re going to hit me over a guy then do it. Just know this, I would never distract you or our friendship over some foolishness like this.” Although she was mad, she didn’t hit me and I walked into the church unharmed.

Another disagreement I had was with a colleague I used to work with a two years ago. After work, I went to pick up my children and in the midst of picking them up I began to talk with another teacher in the room about something that was troubling me personally. As my children stood next to me, another teacher started to sharply talk to my boys. “Don’t put your dirty hands on my stuff.” I looked around and thought she may have been talking to the 3-year old children behind the door. Then she said, “Y’all need to get out my class. I already cleaned it and I’m not cleaning it again.” At this point it was only my children that were in the classroom and the teacher I was talking to said, “Allison.. calm down. We don’t want to see the Jamaican come out”.

I then turned to her and calmly asked her if she was okay and if she was having a bad day. She quickly snapped back and said, “you’re off the clock and you need to take your kids and go.” I “ooosaa’d” took a deep breath and told her, if she’s having a bad day, she doesn’t need to take it out on my kids or myself. I will not stoop down to your level of “professionalism” and lose my job. I will report your tone and form of abuse to the director. Never should a child ever hear you talk to them in that manner whether they are in your care or not.”

Both instances started with conflict. Both could’ve been addressed and handled another way. Some strategies that I know I’ve learned prior to these incidents are:

  • Keeping level-headed in the midst of conflict
  • Embracing the conflict. I didn’t avoid it or pretend it didn’t happen.
  • I listened to what they were saying and what they weren’t saying. Most times when other lash out there’s an underlying reason that has nothing to do with the person they are in conflict with. We were just the straw that broke the camels back.
  • I was willing to talk the person and a mediator who would be honest and not bias to the situation. Sometimes this doesn’t always work because there are those that enable others but I believe in the Matthew 18 Principle. “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not here, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three weaknesses everywhere it may be established” (Matthew 18:15,16)
  • Although there were time I didn’t want to forgive their actions; I was quick to forgive the person, regardless of who was right or wrong.

I do believe that some of these principles can be used to help me manage and resolve conflict in a more productive manner. Looking beyond the borders of what’s in front of you can also be a solution to most disagreements. I do believe that the principles of nonviolent communication would be a great tool to use trying to resolve conflict.

A question to my readers: How could’ve these examples gone differently? What would you have done different than I?

Resources

O’Hair, D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D.I., & Teven, J. (2015). Real communication: An Introduction (3rd ed). New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s. p. 214.

The Bible, Matthew 18: 15-18

The Bible, Proverbs 15:1

Who Am I as a Communicator?

“Communication is the process by which individuals use symbols, signs, and behaviors to exchange information. Competent communication depends on the process more than the outcome, in which what is said and done, and how it is said and done, holds greater significance than the outcome of the interaction” (Laureate, 2011). How do I perceive myself as a communicator? Am I able to determine what is appropriate in a variety of situations and contexts? Are my nonverbal behaviors congruent with what I say? Am I an attentive listener? 

This week, I was able to examine how my own personal schema’s influenced how I might perceive others. I was also able to assess and analyze various communication styles and skills. I was also able to evaluate myself as a communicator and compare it to how others evaluated me as a communicator, listener, and my level of verbal aggressiveness.

Interested in taking the quiz for yourself? Just visit the links below. Then chose two people you know and have them fill out the evaluation as well.

Communication: Communication is “the process by which we use symbols, signs, and behaviors to exchange information. Successful communication allow us to satisfy our most basic needs, from finding food… to developing meaningful relationships” (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2015, p. 4).

In this assessment I scored a 59. According to the results of the assessment, if your score fell between the range of 47–59, you have a moderate level of communication anxiety. This indicates “that you feel somewhat concerned about a number of communication contacts, but probably not all. This is the midpoint level of communication anxiety we can call ‘situational’” (Rubin, R. B., Palmgreen, P., & Sypher, H. E. (Eds.), 2009, Communication Anxiety Inventory). In contrast, my sister gave me a score of 35. This indicated that I may feel “a bit uneasy in some communication situation and someone more confident in other contexts. Communication does not seem to be something that you worry a great deal about” (Rubin, R. B., Palmgreen, P., & Sypher, H. E. (Eds.), 2009, Communication Anxiety Inventory).

Verbal Aggressiveness: This is when there is an underlying message in how the communicator “gains control over different things that occur, through the usage of verbal aggressiveness… and is thought to be mainly a destructive form of communication” (Wikipedia, 2020). Verbal Aggressiveness is basically defined as “a predisposition to attack the self-concept of others;” it’s normally associated with “name-calling, the use of threats, and ultimatums” (Infante & Gass, n.d.). With this assessment, I scored a 67; which is moderate. It states I “maintain a good balance between respect and consideration for others’ viewpoints, and the ability to argue fairly by attacking the facts of the position rather than the person holding that position” (Rubin, R. B., Palmgreen, P., & Sypher, H. E. (Eds.), 2009, Verbal Aggressiveness Scale).

In comparison I received a 60 from one of the individuals and a 74 from another. Like the 67, the score of 60 fell in the moderate level of verbal aggressiveness. The 74 fell in the significant level of verbal aggressiveness. This means “with little provocation, you might cross the line from “argumentativeness,” which attacks a person’s position or statements, and verbal aggression, which involves personal attacks and can be hurtful to the listener” (Rubin, R. B., Palmgreen, P., & Sypher, H. E. (Eds.), 2009, Verbal Aggressiveness Scale).

Listening Style: Listening is defined as “the process of recognizing, understanding, accurately interpreting, and responding effectively to the messages communicated by others” (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2015, p. 152). It’s more than just hearing words and being able to repeat what you heard. For this assessment, I scored a 35. This places me in Group 1: a People-Oriented listening style. According to this style, I am “empathetic and concrned with the emotions of others. This listening style helps you to build relationships, but it can interfere with proper judgement because you tuen to be very trusting to others” (Rubin, R. B., Rubin, A. M., Graham, E. E., Perse, E. M., & Seibold, D. R. (Eds.), 2009, Listening Profile Styles). When recieving the score from my selected individuals, I received a 42 and a 45; which places me in the same group I scored in prior.

As I reflect on the similarities and differences between how I evaluated myself as a communicator and how others evaluated me, I was surprised to see the results. I knew that my listening skills were people-oriented. I know that I tend to put others before myself and I always want to see others happy. What surprised me the most was my level of verbal aggressiveness. I believed I maintained a “good balance between respect and consideration for others’ viewpoints” but one of peers said that I may “cross the line from “argumentativeness,” which attacks a person’s position or statements, and verbal aggression, which involves personal attacks and can be hurtful to the listener.” After seeing that it put some other things into perspective and I thought outside of the professional area and looked at my personal life. It made me think, “Do I talk too aggressively to my family members and/or friends?” These assessments had allowed me to look at myself through the lens or eyes of my family members, peers, and collegues. It made me gain some insight as to how I interact with others outside of my professional field, as well as within my field of interest.

I would definately encourage others to take this assessment. I’ve always been a person for positive change but as it’s been said, “if you want to see a change, it must begin with you.”

Resources:

Infante, D. & Gass, R. (n.d.). Argumentativeness and Verbal Aggressiveness
Two Argument-related “Traits”. Retrieved from https://oregonstate.edu/instruct/comm321/gwalker/VerbalAggressive.html

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Communication and Collaborating in the Early Childhood Field: Who Am I as a Communicator? Retrieved from http://class.waldenu.edu.

O’Hair, D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D. I., Teven, J. (2015). Real Communication: An introduction (3rd ed.). New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s. p. 4).

O’Hair, D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D. I., Teven, J. (2018). Real Communication: An introduction (4th ed.). New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s. pp. 62-68.

Rubin, R. B., Palmgreen, P., & Sypher, H. E. (Eds.) (2009). Communication research measures: A sourcebook. New York: Routledge. (Communication Anxiety Inventory). Retrieved from http://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/EDUC/6165/04/mm/quiz/quiz_communication/index.html

Rubin, R. B., Palmgreen, P., & Sypher, H. E. (Eds.) (2009). Communication research measures: A sourcebook. New York: Routledge. (Verbal Agressiveness Scale). Retrieved from http://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/EDUC/6165/04/mm/quiz/quiz_verbal/index.html

Rubin, R. B., Rubin, A. M., Graham, E. E., Perse, E. M., & Seibold, D. R. (Eds.) (2009). Communication research measures II: A sourcebook. New York: Routledge. (Listening Profile Styles). Retrieved from http://mym.cdn.laureate-media.com/2dett4d/Walden/EDUC/6165/04/mm/quiz/quiz_listening/index.html

Wikipedia. (2020). Verbal Aggressiveness. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbal_aggressiveness

The Land Before Time – The Brave Longneck Scheme: Verbal vs. Nonverbal Communication

“Communication is not always straightforward. Everyone, at some time or another, makes assumptions based on messages communicated through body language and facial expressions” (Laureate, 2011).

The Land Before Time Characters

For this blog, I chose to watch, in silence, a cartoon clip of The Land Before Time. The opening scene starts of with a three horned dinosaur and a longneck dinosaur climbing a hill. At the top, the three horn appeared to have a “stink” and prissy attitude as if she was better than the other dinosaur. She left him behind as he struggled to climb to the top. She seemed to be very mean and bossy towards him. The longneck seemed more positive and optimistic than the three horn. He smiled more and seemed more cautious than the three horned dinosaur as well.

The characters relationship based on the ways in which they communicated nonverbally appeared as if these two weren’t friends at first, but during the show it seemed like they were friends but disagreed with each other often. Based on nonverbal communication, I believe that they were feeling and expressing behaviors of confusion, disagreement, bravery, and approval from someone.

After watching the show again with sound, some of my assumptions were correct. Sarah, the three horned dinosaur was very pushy and bossy. She gave off a “I just want to belong and feel accepted” manner. With the other character, Little Foot, he was more well mannered and was always trying to help his friends. Although there were other characters that played a part, these two main characters had an interdependent relationship. What they did affected others and what others did affected them.

I do believe that my assumptions would have been more precise if I watched a show that I knew well. I would’ve been already familiar with the characters and what they stood for. The story told with Sarah and Littlefoot had many nonverbal communcation codes, which included gestures, body movements, facial expressions, and eye behaviors.

This experience helped me learn that most nonverbal communication made between people speak louder than the words that come out of their mouths; and that soome actions do not match the words themselves spoken. It seemed that there was a channel discrepency, where the words and actions don’t match, and nonverbal behaviors are more likely to be believed than verbal ones (p. 26).

References:

Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Communication Skills: Language, Nonverbal, Listening. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

O’Hair, D., Wiemann, M., Mullin, D. I., & Teven, J. (2018). Real communication: An introduction (4th. ed). New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

The Land Before Time: The Brave Longneck Scheme. Uploaded 2017. Retrieved from https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5jjhit

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