To all my fellow colleagues who are now almost masters in effective communication and collaboration, I wish you the best in your journey to achieving your masters. I do hope to cross paths with many of you in our future courses, however if I do not, never lose hope and passion for early childhood education and the children you care for on a daily basis.
It has been a great eight weeks of learning. We certainly know in more detail what effective communication and collaboration looks like and does not look like. Never forget to be respectful, assertive, compassionate, empathetic, knowledgeable, kind, culturally competent and open-minded when dealing with people and children around you.
Remember we are ALMOST masters in effective communication and collaboration so continue to be mindful that:
There have been many instances growing up where I have been apart of teams and in many respects it has been heart-wrenching to say goodbye especially when a team has reached the adjourning stage, as you have created something out of nothing and from scratch and by creating or achieving this something, you have laughed, argued and shed tears over teething processes and perhaps decisions or ideas that have worked or have not worked or foresee not working. I think the group or team that will be the hardest for me to leave, is the current school team I am apart of, as we were given an opportunity to be apart of creating and opening a school that aspires to be great and a lot of sweat and tears of hard work have gone into it. I do not believe my current school team is at the adjourning stage yet, as I believe it is still going through many teething processes. However, one of the teams I am apart of in the school, is the Language Committee and we will soon reach the adjourning stage and this will not be easy as we have established a process of how to work and bring ideas together. We have created a closely knit team that has achieved a lot in a short space of time for the school curriculum and to be honest does anyone like to leave a team that you have worked so hard for and on? Furthermore, does anyone really like change, especially if change happens quickly and another group or committee is formed with new members for another aspect of the curriculum? If I was to be honest to theses questions, it is a big NO from me as I am a creature of comfort, however change is necessary and needed for something to continue to grow bigger and better. I hope that in the adjourning stage of this team we can be commended for our efforts from leadership and celebrate what we have achieved.
If I were to reflect on adjourning from my current group of colleagues in my master’s program, it will feel strange and sad but hopefully we will keep in contact with each other and perhaps meet each other in future courses.
In closing, adjourning is important as it is a time for team members and leadership to reflect, recognise and commend each other on what they have effectively done and achieved to get the team to where it is.
The recent conflict I had was from my Chinese co-teacher. Our Principal had asked him to do something by a certain day and give it to our class parent, however the day came and I asked him if he had done it and he said no. So I asked him why, as he has had more than enough time in the week to do the task. As a result, I said to him he needs to complete the task today and give it to the class parent. He replied to me and said “I will just call in sick this afternoon then and will not be able to do it” Therefore, I replied and said “That is perfectly fine, I will just go down to the principal and tell her the reason why you are sick all of a sudden.” He replied “I do not care” and sang this for five minutes. I then decided to let it go, keep quiet and no longer confront him. Later in the day he came over to me and apologised for his behaviour and in his words “I apologise for my disobedience.”
On hein sight neither of us behaved correctly, as although I am the head teacher in the class, I did threaten to report him to the Principal if he called in sick and he became defensive immediately. As a result, I had to cool the situation down quickly, as although I did not show disrespect to him from the beginning of the conversation, I did realise my threat was disrespectful and this was reciprocal in the way he responded to my threat by singing “I do not care.” Therefore, in this situation I realised I had to keep quiet, calm down, breathe and smile and so although it took him three hours to apologise, we made amends eventually. I am interested to know how my fellow colleagues believe I should of handled this situation? As it is difficult to reason and be non-defensive in a conflict. Furthermore, any other conflict resolution skills that my fellow colleagues can advise in order for me to become a more effective communicator in my working relationship with my co-teacher?
I think the biggest aspect of my assessment as a communicator, was that fact that I was harder on myself than what my father and my friend were when they assessed me. Which made me realise that I was once again hard on myself, when I should not be, as the saying goes “We are our own worst enemy.”
With regards to insights I gained this week, the first would be how anxiety can affect our communication, as at times after giving a speech to groups of people or crowds of people, I often over analyze what I have said and talk to friends or family and recount parts of my speech that I could have communicated better and focused more on. Which personally and professionally I have now learnt to rather focus more on the positive aspects of my speech and how positively the audience reacted to my speech.
I further learnt how calm I actually am when someone offends or hurts me instead of being aggressive and reacting to them and most importantly how aggression or negative reactions to others affects effective communication. As a result, both personally and professionally I believe it is a skill to learn to be calm and not react negatively, which I thank my parents for teaching me this, as well as how my early years teachers consistently encouraged effective communication by role playing scenarios in the classroom which taught us how one can react but how we should rather react.
Last but not least I learnt that the most effective form of communication is when: