Communication is a two way process and the key to serving in any professional capacity in today’s society. Effective communication requires both speaking and listening skills. As a early childhood educator, communication is used to interact with my students, parents, co-workers, administration and advocates. Social media is an effective tool in providing quality communication to many people in a very short time with little time and effort on the part of the communicator. With more and more parents engaging in social media during the day during their work hours, teachers can provide a unique look into the daily activities of their child’s classroom.
In thinking about my own communication skills, I often am required to speak to large groups for educational purposes. I am typically comfortable speaking to large groups and I enjoy interacting with parents, but very little listening is involved in these communication opportunities. I also meet with parents on a more one-on-one basis and in these types of conferences, I engage in both listening and speaking equally. Non-verbal communication is also a vital skill necessary to my profession. Maintaining eye contact with people when speaking and keeping an open body position will allow people to feel that I am open and interested in what they are saying to me. By presenting an open expression and neutral facial expression, others will feel that I am validating what they are saying and will be more receptive to listening when I am speaking. The art of conversation is lost art with the advances in the technology associated with cell phones, laptops, tablets, iPads, iPods, and social media. Continuing to practice communication skills is important to being able to effectively engage people in an effort to advocate for children and early childhood education (Robinson, Segal, Segal, Last, 2014).
My course project is to change the policies of the after school program for my Pre-K children called Kid’s Club and create a more developmentally appropriate curriculum and enrichment activities. In creating a change in policy change for the Union City Elementary School’s Kid’s Club program, social media can be an effective way to engage and inform parents. Facebook is an important social media tool that will enable me to provide information, pictures, videos, and posts to parents that request to be part of the UCES Kid’s Club group. Facebook will also provide opportunities for parents can ask questions and share thoughts about the program, While social media is a great communication tool, I will also need to provide opportunities for parents to meet together to discuss strengths and challenges of our program. It will be important to provide a forum where both speaking, listening, and non-verbal communication skills are used to give all interested parties a voice in the creation of this new after school Pre-K program.
Robinson, L., Ph.D., J. S., Segal, M., & Las, M. (2014, May 1). Effective Communication. : Improving Communication Skills in Business and Relationships. Retrieved June 5, 2014, from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/effective_communication_skills.htm