Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Great Communicator

Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, is known as The Great Communicator. He was known as this because his communication style was simple, clear, and sincere. He had a wonderful knack of speaking about complex subjects in a way that people could understand. Through his communication skills, he improved international relations immensely during his presidency. "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" will forever remind us of what Reagan accomplished during his presidency (Thompson, 2011).

I greatly admire Reagan's knack for taking complex subjects and making them understandable to the average person. It is important to speak to your audience in a level in which they understand. I feel this is a skill that is necessary when working with children and families.

For example, education (at least public education) is infamous for using acronyms. I remember how lost I felt my first year of teaching when my colleagues were discussing TEKS, TAKS, FERPA, IEPs, SPED, and many others. This is the same way parents feel when discussing topics that are unfamiliar. Consequently, you wouldn't speak to a child the same way you speak to adults. To sum it up, you should always know your intended audience and speak to them in a manner in which they understand.


Thompson, F. (2011, February 6). What Made Ronald Reagan The Great Communicator: Former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson Reflects. New York Daily News. Retrieved from

Friday, June 22, 2012

Professional Hopes and Goals

I hope that my work with the students I teach makes a difference in their lives.  The teenagers I work with are, for the most part, very different than me at that age.  Many have to make adult decisions, as in the case of my teen parents.  Some have little to no parent support.  Many feel hopeless.  I want to be there to give them hope, to show them they can be a success in life.  Every year at the beginning of June, I get to see some of my students graduate from high school.  This year it was very special as I had seven teen parenting students receive their diplomas.  That is more than any year since I began teaching the program.  I know that I made a difference in the lives of those seven students and their children. 

I would like for all children in the United States to have access to high quality early childhood programs regardless of income, race, or ability.  Currently, I feel there is a large population of middle-class children who are not afforded the opportunity to attend quality preschool programs.  The costs associated with good programs are often too high for working class parents to afford, yet they do not qualify government subsidized programs. 

Good luck to all of my colleagues as we continue on our Walden Journey!  I can’t believe it has been a year since I started the program.  Thank you all for your continued support and I look forward to working with you again in future courses.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Welcoming Families From Around the World

Kenya is the country or origin for the new family that is coming to my childcare center.

I will prepare myself by:

1.      Learn about this family’s culture by locating families in town that have previously immigrated from Kenya.

2.     Research Kenya on the Internet to learn more about the country.

3.     Prepare the children in the center by teaching them about the country of Kenya.

4.     Place decorations about Kenya in the childcare center and add culturally sensitive books and toys to the school’s centers.

5.     Locate a translator that is fluent in the family’s native language in case services are needed.

It is always exciting learning about new cultures.  The new family from Kenya allows me to learn about their culture why they learn about the American culture.  By preparing for their arrival, I will help make them feel welcome and like they have an ally in this strange new situation they are in.  Hopefully, we will make them feel welcome and comfortable in order to maximize the child’s education experience in my childcare center.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Personal Side of Bias, Prejudice, and Oppression

My daughter loves to watch George Lopez on Nickelodeon.  On a recent episode, George’s neighbor was displaying a statue that George felt was offensive to Hispanics.  It was a statue of a Mexican in a sombrero taking a nap next to a cart.  George confronted the neighbor who was Caucasian.  The neighbor could not understand why George was upset about the statue (Leschin, 2007).

About this same time there was a controversy in San Antonio over a mural that was planned for the Mission Drive-in revitalization project.  The proposal was for a mural which depicted a sleeping Mexican against a wall.  Some prominent area Hispanics were critical of the mural, claiming that it did not accurately depict Hispanics.  Advocates for the mural claimed that it was capturing an image from the past.  It was the same image that was depicted on 1940’s travel brochures and was on the wall of the original drive-in.  Still, many think that it conveys the message that Mexicans are lazy and therefore, are against the mural (Forsyth, 2012).

Both the episode of George Lopez and the proposed mural in San Antonio depict Mexicans in a negative way.  I feel that images like this about any group are unnecessary.  It angers me when I see stereotypical messages like these. 

George Lopez is a Hispanic actor and his show is about a typical Hispanic American family living in California.  I find myself thing that the show perpetuates many of these stereotypical statements about Hispanics when it shouldn’t.  The message I am receiving is that it is OK to make fun of a race if it is your own.  In order for these types of messages to stop, everyone must stop using these stereotypes. 


Forsyth, J. (March 3, 2012). “Sleeping Mexican” mural draws TX protest. Reuters. Retrieved from

Leschin. L. (writer), & Epps, S. (director). (April 24, 2007). George Can’t Let Sleeping Mexicans Lie [George Lopez]. Helford, P. (Producer). Los Angeles, California. Warner Bros. Television.