Friday, April 10, 2015

Week of the Young Child

Good afternoon. The week of April 12th-18th is the Week of the Young Child. The National Association for the Education of Young Children has activities parents and children can do together to celebrate. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Good afternoon. Today I am blogging to discuss two communication skills that are important to embody when leading policy change. The ability to communicate with people at all levels is one of the most important skills one can have. Clear communication is essential in understanding one another as well as enabling us to resolve differences, build trust and respect, and create safe environments for open and honest discussion (, n.d.). One communication skill that is important to embody is listening. Listening is both understanding the words spoken by another person as well as understanding how the speaker feels when they are communicating and what they are communicating about (, n.d.). Listening is an important skill, especially when leading policy change. You are listening to students, parents, the community, your school district and or early childcare center, other early childhood professionals, community leaders, and political representatives. By listening effectively to all of these stakeholders you are building connections with them as well, which will aid in changing policy.

Another communication skill that is essential to embody is managing stress while communicating. Chronic stress affects effective communication by disrupting the capacity to think clearly and can lead to knee-jerk reactions (, n.d.). Dealing with stress during communication is important at all times, especially when leading policy change when tempers can run high. There are several things to remember when dealing with stress during communication: know your buttons and recognize when you are becoming stressed; take a minute to calm down before continuing with the conversation; use humor to lighten the situation; be willing to compromise, especially important in policy discussions; and agree to disagree, again, especially important in policy discussions (, n.d.). One idea that helps me is to remember that others can be feeling stress too and to put myself in their shoes.

In relation to these two skills, I have both strengths and opportunities for improvement. One strength I have in listening is that I focus on the speaker by showing interest; I make eye contact and I do not check my phone for emails or texts. An area for improvement is that I need to listen fully and not be waiting for my turn to talk. One strength I have in managing my stress during conversations is that I can usually always see the positive in everything. In addition, I use humor to de-escalate situations and I am always willing to work with others to find a middle ground. I use these strategies daily in my work and I feel I can apply them to other areas, like policy change.

Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important of all life skills. Communication, whether it is verbal, written, or nonverbal, how well we communicate with one another is a vital life skill. Thank you, Cissy (n.d.). Effective communication. A Trusted Non-Profit Resource. Retrieved April 8, 2015, from

Good afternoon. Today I am blogging to discuss the two types of social media I would use to communicate my policy issue of early childhood health services; specifically, vaccinations. One form of social media I would use is a webpage. I would use this form because it would reach a wide audience. Both a young audience and an older audience would find it from Googling vaccinations. Webpages are easy to create, they can be free, and are easy to update and easy to link to. In addition, on a webpage I can have other forms of social media that my users and browsers can subscribe to and or follow. I can have a Face Book link, a Twitter link, an Instagram link, a Vine link, and a You Tube link all on my webpage. Once a user navigates to my webpage, if they prefer to use one of these other types of media, they can link to them there and vice versa; I can link my webpage on the other media types as well.

A second form of social media I would use is a mobile phone app. I would use this form because it too would reach a wide audience. Both young and older users are using apps. I would have a link to my mobile phone app on my webpage and on the other media types as well as a standalone media type available for free.

One benefit of using a webpage is that they are easy to create and maintain and I can provide a vast amount of information in a small space. In addition, webpages are good for a wide audience. One challenge in using a webpage is the number of webpages on the internet and overload viewers may have as well as the time spent by viewers on a webpage. My webpage will need to get their attention quickly to keep them viewing all of the information available.

One benefit of using a mobile app is that they can give a lot of information in one application. It could be basically the webpage condensed. One challenge of using a mobile app is the size and potential cost. I would prefer to offer it for free but at some point, I may have to charge to pay for development, upkeep, hosting, etc.

Overall, I think using social media is important in impacting policy and would be good to use to discuss my policy issue, vaccinations. Social media has strong connectivity between users. In an article by June, Hong, and Sung-Min, they state, “with social media it is easier than ever to share breaking news, broach a social issue, and exchange opinions in real time to a massive audience. In fact, on average any two random Twitter users have only four degrees of separation between them.” (June, 2011).

Thank you, Cissy

June, P., Hong, C., & Sung-Min, P. (2011). Social media's impact on policy making. SERI Quarterly, 4(4), 125–129. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from the Walden Library databases.