The Role of Communication in Childcare

Standard

The front of Chase Learning Center (with one of my favorite Chase babies)

Path to Childcare

Ashley is the current director at Chase Youth Center. When asked how she started working in childcare, she told me that she has always loved children. She says she began babysitting when she was 15 years old and she loved being around children and enjoyed how much fun children are. Ashley has a Bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology with a minor in Early Childhood Education.

Communication on a Daily Basis

In a childcare setting, communication is key on many levels. Ashley says that it is necessary when running a building to be able to communicate because tasked wouldn’t be able to completed and no one would know what to do or how to accomplish specific tasks if there were no communication. Ashley believes that verbal communication is the best form of communication in the workplace.

When it comes to childcare laws, you have to orally communicate the rules and details with employees and management so that DHR requirements and laws can be met with ease. Alongside this, she says that it is very important to fill out paperwork very specifically so that it is easy for others to understand that specific document.

Oral Communication

In order for a business to run or for a day to run smoothly, Ashley says effective oral communication is key. She says it maintains employee relationships and it gains productivity. The more you communicate, the better off the employees will be at doing their job. She says it’s good to give instructions, but communication also allows for affective constructive criticism as well.

When it comes to parents, Ashley says that parents need to know what is going on at all times. The more she communicates with them, the more they will trust her and the employees, and the easier situations can be handled in the present or future. She also says that if a situation with the child arises, she prefers to address it with the parents when they come to pick their child up.

In this work environment, you also have to communicate with children between the ages of 5 and 11. When I asked her how to communicate with them, she says that the best way to communicate with a child is to be calm and effective by getting down and talking to them on their level. She also says that hearing what they have to say is the most important.

Technical Communication

With the digital age we are in today, it is important to utilize the technology we are given. With employees, Ashley prefers not to email them but she does send them text messages. She says that texting her employees is about 90% effective. She also says that she will email the parents if it is something minor and they usually respond within a day or two. She says some parents will communicate with her over email but most of them prefer to talk to her in person or over the phone.

Consequences of Poor Communication

All workplaces have occasional instances of poor communication. When asked about the consequences of poor communication, she says that it can cause lack of efficiency, employee morale, and a decrease in productivity in the workplace. She says that she has had a miscommunication before and she had to explain the situation in order for it to make sense.

Katie Archer, Guest Blogger

The Role of Communication in Human Ecology

Standard

 

IMG_3916.JPG

Dr. Katie Barrow in Carson Taylor Hall

Dr. Katie Barrow is an Assistant Professor of family and child studies at Louisiana Tech University. With a passion for the understanding of the complexities within society, Dr. Barrow holds a Ph. D. in human development, a M.S. in family and child studies, and a B.S. in psychology. Throughout her educational and professional career, Dr. Barrow has devoted countless hours to researching family diversity, sexuality and gender, and marriage and family relationships. Dr. Barrow enjoys teaching at the college university level, where she encourages students to explore sensitive issues, while challenging social and cultural norms.

As a Professional

While obtaining her graduate degrees, she wrote a 160-page dissertation on LGBT family relationships and a 60-page masters thesis on the lives of Jewish lesbian women. Her research and findings have landed her several publications in academic journals. Dr. Barrow has acquired the practice of writing in several different styles by composing manuscripts, reviewing textbooks, participating in research studies, writing grants, and creating workshops for organizations.

“Writing is a craft; it’s not only being smart enough, but it’s also oversimplifying concepts, like intersectionality, to my audience who may comprehend at a high school or even middle school level.” -Dr. Barrow.

When asked about her day-to-day tasks, Dr. Barrow says that she always has a paper or manuscript in progress and is always looking for possible conferences to submit her writings to. Her frequent use of written communication has taught her the discipline of efficiently structuring her writing for her targeted audience.

As an Educator

Dr. Barrow admits to preferring oral communication over written in classroom settings. Although she incorporates powerpoints in her lectures, she finds the use of models, visual aids, and videos to be more effective. She favors in-depth discussions with her students because she believes that nothing can truly substitute the interaction of talking. As a professor, she makes sure to educate her students both visually and orally, including students with communication disabilities. Dr. Barrow builds her students’ oral communication skills, while getting them into the practice of talking about sensitive issues. Her students’ coursework often includes creating brochures and writing research papers. She also requires her students to submit daily exit slips, teaching students the art of being succinct in their writing. For her courses, Dr. Barrow spends about 2-3 hours creating each lesson plan. She forms her lessons around the textbook, current events, academic journals, research studies, and even social media. She routinely updates her lesson plans because her field, like society and culture, is constantly changing.

As a Communicator

Dr. Barrow frequently emails her students addressing any questions or concerns they may have. She tries to respond to students as quickly as she can. When asked on negative forms of technical communication, she states that sometimes students lack formality in their emails to her. Dr. Barrow also exchanges emails with editors of journals regularly. She admits that the process of collecting her writings and getting published can sometimes become intense. It often entails submitting a cover letter, uploading a cohesive manuscript, receiving feedback, and sending revisions. From her recurrent practice, Dr. Barrow has learned to communicate with editors punctually considering this process will last weeks at a time. In addition, she often exchanges memos and emails with faculty members, however her colleagues are often more understanding of her busy schedule.

Summary

Communication not only turned Dr. Barrow into an educator, but it also made her into the accomplished, motivating woman she is today. On a daily basis, she influences the lives of her students, whilst shedding light on important cultural and societal issues through her writings and publications. She has effectively used communication in her career to share important matters on a professional and academic level. My interview with Dr. Barrow was extremely inspiring and gave me a lot of valuable insight on what becoming an educator in this field will be like.

Stephanie Daigle, Guest Blogger.