Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Module 7 Assignment 2


Module 7 Assignment 2

Publish a blog post that explains at least two communication skills that are important to embody when leading policy change and why. Then, describe your own strengths and/or opportunities for improvement in relation to these skills. Justify your response by explaining how you came to these conclusions.

Dear Colleagues,

Two communication skills that I consider essential to embody when leading policy change are patience and perseverance. These two skills or qualities are important because policy change takes time. It may take years or decades to occur and it is essential to be patient and to persevere in order for the change to happen. You may have an extraordinary idea for change but if you don’t have the capacity to be patient and persevere the change is never going to happen because it takes time. I think I have an excellent proposal for change in my community of practice but I also think that its completion may take some time, patience and perseverance. I am not absolutely sure that the change in policy is going to happen but I am going to try my best to use these qualities for the benefit of our children.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

EDUC 8854 Dynamics of Early Childhood Policies and Systems

Dear Colleagues,
For this course assignment we are required to complete a blog post that explains at least two social media I might use to communicate my policy issue and explain why I am using them. I would like to begin this post by clarifying that for this assignment I am not promoting the acceptance and implementation of a new policy and or system. Rather, I am advocating for an evidence-based research and evaluation of the program and policies integrating preschool services between Head Start (HS) and the Chicago Public School (CPS) system. Due to the nature of the program as a public organization and my direct participation as an educator, I do not deem appropriate to advance my initiative through social mass media such as Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.  
Although I understand “the transformative power of social media” as stated by June, Hong and Sung-Min (2011), I would like to communicate my observations, improvements and suggestions to the person and department in charge of supervising the program. Courtesy is essential for effective communication (Mind Tools, n.d.) and Ms. Miller-Mascetti, the director of the Office of Early Childhood Education (OECE), deserves the courtesy of being informed of my initiative. Effective communication can improve relationships by deepening our connections to others and improving teamwork, decision-making and problem solving (Helpguide, n.d.).
I would like to initiate a policy and system change locally, in my community of practice, by cooperating with the staff in charge of making the changes in the OECE. I would like to participate by providing an insider’s view of the effective practices and challenges experienced during implementation and offering suggestions for improvement. As a matter of fact, I already initiated communication with the directors of CPS, HS and OECE using the CPS’ electronic communication system. CPS responded that HS and OECE are responsible for the implementation of the preschool program. HS is very unresponsive and defensive to any comments or suggestions for change. OECE, through the person of Ms. Miller, was very responsive and open for communication. This is the reason that motivated me to create the communication plan addressed to her. As plan B, if this initiative doesn’t yield positive results, I can use the teacher’s chats and/or ECE forums to further my plan.
Any comments/suggestions? Please, do not hesitate to post them here. Thanks for your time and attention!
References
Helpguide.org. (n.d.). Effective communication. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/effective_communication_skills.htm

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


Mind Tools. (n.d.). The 7 Cs of communication: A checklist for clear communication. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCS_85.htm

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


EDUC 8854 Dynamics of Early Childhood Policies and Systems

Dear Colleagues at Walden,

As I mentioned it already, it is a pleasure to share another portion of this journey with you. I am looking forward for the opportunity to continue collaborating with you on this endeavor. For this purpose, I would like to share with you in this first posting the essence of the problem we (hundreds of Early Childhood educators in my district including me) are facing. My school district, the third largest in the nation, is conducting a merge of the federal Head Start (HS) program with the local Preschool program which is named Preschool For All (PFA). The fusion has been implemented in the k-8 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system. As part of this integration, CPS turned several PFA‘s preschool programs into Head Start Programs. CPS also created several new Head Start preschool classrooms within the public elementary school system. Since I have the required credentials to teach preschool, I was asked to serve this new preschool class in our school. I taught Kindergarten for almost a decade and since I was working on my doctoral degree on EC, I thought (and continue thinking) that it was a great opportunity for me to improve my teaching practice and educational impact on my community of practice.

The problem is that Head Start is a massive bureaucratic system that includes subsystems from various diverse areas such as health, nutrition, and social work. CPS is another massive bureaucratic system that also has a voluminous administrative apparatus. CPS hired us as teachers for their system and we must follow all their directives, procedures and policies. Head Start pays our salaries and administers our preschool programs and we also must follow all their directives, procedures and policies. CPS’ Office of Early Childhood Education (OECE) is in charge of overseeing and managing the merge and guess what? They also have their own administrative apparatus, curriculum and system and we must also follow all their directives, procedures and policies. As you may guess it is an administrative nightmare which includes; fragmentations, constant miscommunications, power struggles, repetitions of processes, redundancies and a myriad of supervisors in our classrooms telling us what to do for each one of their departments.

As you may infer, all these dissonant systems are creating a tremendous pressure on the educators and consuming invaluable resources that may be used to improve our educational system and practice. For the purpose of this assignment, I articulated three goals that might assist me in becoming more effective;

1)     Develop a vision of what systems ought to be. Obtaining an essential understanding of what systems are and/or should be will help me to navigate and understand the above mentioned early childhood systems.

2)     Identifying best practices for achieving this vision. In enhancing my systematic awareness it is necessary to learn about research-based best practices for developing and implementing optimal systems. Research may help me to understand what are the major issues affecting this type of merging and what solutions have been effectively implemented in similar situations.

3)     Develop a system approach that would enhance the delivery of services and teaching effectiveness under the current fusion in my school district.
Throughout the Course Project and research and I will further elaborate on the subject in the following weeks and assignments. Thanks for your time and attention!

Saturday, April 26, 2014


EDUC 8853 Influences of Family, Culture, and Society in Early Childhood

Final Thoughts

Dear Colleagues,
When I started Walden’s Doctoral  program online I was expecting an “easy” program but instead I became engaged in a rigorous, demanding and extremely well planned program of doctoral studies. This course hasn’t been the exception. It has been as demanding and rigorous as any other. Nonetheless, it has positively challenged and changed my perception and conceptualization of my practice and my field. This course highlighted the amplitude of the field. It pointed out to many of the components such as the development of our identity and the effects of bias and microaggressions on it. It also provided us with essential concepts about family, cultural, linguistic, community and societal dynamics. Furthermore, this course brought to our attention the effects that risk, stress and trauma has on the children and families we serve and taught us effective strategies to ameliorate their effects and to help our children to develop resilience. It has been guiding me to a better understanding of the field in general, but to a deeper understanding of the issues and trends that are impacting my community of practice. As part of this new understanding, I will continue elaborating and applying the foundations acquired in this course to further my studies as I confront the problem of developing and/or finding solutions to these issues in my community.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Influences of Family, Culture, and Society in Early Childhood (EDUC - 8853 )

MD 6 Assignment Blog

Dear Colleagues and professor Bosier at Walden University,
Welcome to Module 6’s Assignment. As you may recall the focus of my Course Project’s research is “Children who are dual or multiple language learners” and the topic is “home language/ school language divide”. Through this research study I am hoping to expand my understanding of multiple language learners, learn about best practices in teaching this student population to enhance my practice, and the advantages/ disadvantages of teaching second languages learners in the target language (in this case, English) while they speak another language at home. With the purpose of expanding my knowledge base about the subject, I attempted to interview two distinguished members of the Early Childhood community in my school district. One is the director of the Office of Early Childhood Education (OECE) and the other is the district’s director of the Head Start Program. Along with the pledge for assistance I submitted five questions that would assist me to obtain further knowledge about my challenge. These are the questions:
1)    In our school district we have a large number of English language learners how is your institution’s programmatic decisions affected by this student population?

2)    What type of program(s) and/or service(s) have you find successful/effective in the delivery of services for these students. What makes them successful/effective?

3)    What are the triumphs and challenges in serving these students and their families?

4)    In our role as educators, how can we help your institution to better serve these students and their families?

5)    What changes or resources may aid your institution to help these children to succeed in our school system and society?

OECE’s director answered me immediately “Happy to help. I have looped in Sheila [her secretary] to help us arrange a time.”, I am still waiting for the answer of the Head Start’s director. Unfortunately, our entire school district is under a Head Start federal review and we are all occupied with it. OECE’s director is willing to help me but I have to wait until April 4, after the review, in order to conduct a phone interview and with Head Start, I believe that the director is so busy that she hasn’t had the time to even answer my attempts to contact her. In searching for an alternative, last night I send an e-mail to the District’s director of the Department of Language and Culture which is another entity that deals with the design and implementation of instruction of culturally diverse students in the District. I haven’t received an answer yet but I am going to insist next week. I am concerned about the time frame given to us to complete the assignment. Most of the people that have a direct influence and impact on the education of these students are people extremely busy, with heavy agendas that require more time for the interview to happen. Nonetheless, their input is fundamental in my Course project (Major Assessment) because these are the directors of the agencies that determine policies, programs, approaches and resources for our large student population of culturally diverse students. These are the people in charge of educating these students and I would like to obtain their perspective. I have been reading a lot of resources, I have a firsthand experience through my school and classroom, and these perspectives in my own district will help me to obtain a more holistic picture of the researched issue. I will continue pursuing these interview with the hope that they happen before the due date.

Dear Colleagues, thanks for your time and attention to this blog!  I have a couple of questions for you:

What is your opinion on teaching this student population? What approach (es) may be more effective in serving these students?
Do you have any suggestions on potential interviewees that would help me to enhance my understanding of this issue?

Please feel free to write your comments and feedback.
Thanks for your time and consideration!

Friday, February 7, 2014


Influences of Family, Culture, and Society in Early Childhood (EDUC - 8853 )

Course Project (Major Assessment) Challenge and Sub-topic
by Salvador Perez

Dear colleagues at Walden University:

In considering my topic for the course project (Major Assessment for this class), I found one that truly interests me because I serve this student population. The challenge is “Children who are dual or multiple language learners”.

When I first encountered this topic, I thought on concentrating my research on Bilingual Hispanic students because this is my area of concentration and because I have read a substantial amount of research that advises that Bilingual education is the best approach to teach this student population”. At this moment, it came to my mind our readings and discussions about bias and this thought reveled a bias approach in my practice. The thought that this approach will work for every situation, including teaching classrooms with culturally diverse students, was na├»ve and pointed to a prominent bias in my teaching.

 As a result of this reflection and in order to address this bias on my practice, I have decided to focus my Course Project’s research on the suggested Challenge of “Children who are dual or multiple language learners” and the topic of “home language/ school language divide”.

Through this research study I am hoping to expand my understanding of multiple language learners, learn about best practices in teaching this student population to enhance my practice, and the advantages/ disadvantages of teaching second languages learners in the target language (in this case, English) while they speak another language at home.

What is your opinion on teaching this student population? What approach (es) may be more effective in serving these students?

Do you have any suggestions on academic research that would help me to enhance my understanding and practice?

Please feel free to write your comments and feedback.

Thanks for your time and consideration!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Influences of Family, Culture, and Society in Early Childhood (EDUC - 8853 ) 
 
Dear Colleagues:


Welcome to Opening Doors! My name is Salvador Perez. I am married, have 4 kids (3 girls & 1 boy). I’ve been serving children at the Chicago Public Schools for the past 17 years. I’ve taught most grades with the exception of 4th. The last 3 school years, I taught 6th and 8th grade. This year I am back in my dreamed grade: Pre-Kindergarten. I prefer serving young scholars because I have experienced that the educational impact is greater in the early years than on other years of elementary schooling.
I consider that to be a professional in the early childhood field means to be devoted to your practice and service to the children entrusted to your care. It means to practice your profession with respect, integrity, passion, desire of service and with the ultimate goal of assisting these children to achieve their maximum potential respecting and acknowledging their differences in learning style, capacity and developmental level.
By pursuing a Doctoral degree program at Walden University I hope to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to develop a much more efficient Early Childhood Educational program for the Hispanic community in my district in an attempt to alleviate the tremendous educational gap of these children. It is a pleasure to share this portion of our educational journey with you and I hope to be of service someday. Thanks for visiting! Please, leave a comment!