Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Communicating and Collaborating in the Early Childhood Field

Hello Dear Colleagues! 

Week 8 is upon us and we are preparing to complete yet another course. I am so grateful for the learning and collaboration that has yet again taken place throughout the discussions and blog responses over the past eight weeks of this course. I have learned a lot about effective communication strategies and methods for successful collaboration that I will continue to use in both my professional and personal relationships. It is amazing to look back at where we began and how far we have come. Many of you have been in many of my courses and I am amazed at the learning that has taken place alongside all of you. 

Thank you all very much for another eight weeks of learning, growing and collaborating! I look forward to another course full of professional growth and am even more excited that the light at the end of the tunnel is fast approaching!


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Blog Week 6 Team Building- The Adjourning Phase

At all of the meetings I have participated in within the education field, the adjourning phase usually consists of summing up and restating what was covered during the meeting and also confirms the date for the next meeting or session if applicable. At times, we have also discussed what was not yet addressed and that it will be part of the agenda at the next date. Depending on the sort of meeting, at times “minutes” are recorded by a designated person and these are also looked over and made available to other staff members and committees. When staff members retire, have completed their contract or are moving to another location, often a party takes place to celebrate and say goodbye. We often have speeches, give a gift, and take some time to mingle and reminisce about the year.

When teams are adjourning that will continue to see one another, for example, during summer vacation a smaller celebration often takes place. We usually have an end of year BBQ at my school so that parents, students and staff members alike can get together. We also have a staff golf tournament and potluck at the end of each school year where we celebrate the year and take time to adjourn for the summer. At this event, our school principal often thanks teachers and staff members for their contributions and achievements throughout the year. This includes academic achievement results (test score results) and coaching and extracurricular efforts. Our principal also gives out recognition to staff for years of service with the school Board. I believe that adjourning is an important phase for team building because it allows all staff members time to either celebrate successes, say farewells or reflect on what was achieved and what we are still working towards.  

With regards to adjourning from the group of colleagues I have come to meet and collaborate with during my Master’s Degree, I hope that I will stay in contact with many of the professionals I have met along this journey. After every course we have made a point to thank those who have really helped us grow and who have impacted our learning in responses in our blog responses. I would love to extend an invitation to my colleagues to continue to communicate, share ideas and ask questions within our experiences as early childhood educators.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Blog Week 5- Resolving Conflict with Communication Strategies

I am currently in the role of assistant coach for the girls’ basketball team at my school. The other coach and I have very different ideas about coaching and our styles do not jive. I am a very linear thinker and need to have things planned out and organized in order to feel comfortable while the other coach is able to do things with less structure and organization. As I mentioned previously in this course, I am a person who does not like confrontation and as a result, sometimes I shy away from voicing my opinion.  

In order to confront this situation in a way that would remain positive and would achieve my overall goals I looked to both the 3 R’s and the principles of nonviolent communication in order resolve this conflict. As stated in Corso’s text, healthy relationships are created through respect and open communication they “…do not come automatically but are instead built over a period of time through respectful, reciprocal, and responsive interactions” (Corso, 2007). I believe that for this very reason I should plan out what I want to say so that it remains respectful and does not seem like a personal attack. I also need to ensure that I after I present my opinion in a way that is constructive, respectful and concise, that I ensure that I take the time to listen to his ideas and opinions as well. This means really listening to his ideas and not just formulating a rebuttal during our discussion. O' Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2012) explain these two forms of listening as “monopolistic listening” under the category of selfish listening. I need to be sure that I am prepared to listen to and consider my co-worker’s ideas and opinions in this situation in order to solve this problem. The final strategy I learned about from this week’s readings that I can put into place in this situation is to state what I want in a way that is clear, rather than what I do not want (The Center for Nonviolent Communication, n.d.). Finally, I believe that it is important to give someone notice that I would like to speak to him one on one at his convenience. That way he can choose a time and place that is convenient for him and does not feel like his back is up against the wall.


Corso, R. M. (2007). Practices for enhancing children's social-emotional development and preventing challenging behavior. Gifted Child Today, 30(3), 51–56. Retrieved from http://ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login?url=http://proquest.umi.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/pqdweb?did=1303084331&sid=1&Fmt=4&clientId=70192&RQT=309&VName=PQD

O' Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2012). Real communication. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's.

The Center for Nonviolent Communication. (n.d.). The center for nonviolent communication. Retrieved from www.cnvc.org