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Running head: EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION

Effective Communication and Collaboration


Lauren Bohenek
Regent University

In partial fulfillment of UED 496 Field Experience ePortfolio, Spring 2016

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION

Introduction
Communication is vital to all relationships; it is the building block of interpersonal skills.
However communication is portrayed with more than words, it is also illustrated through
nonverbal factors including appearance, body language, and tone. Therefore it is critical to
analyze all of these elements when communicating with individuals. As a teacher,
communication plays a large role since there is constant contact with students, parents, peer
teachers, and administration. Teacher communication should be polished and delivered in the
appropriate form for the audience.
Rationale for Artifact Selection
The first artifact selected is notes from a collaborative planning among the 3rd grade
teachers at Green Run Elementary. I joined all four teachers in attending a Virginia Beach City
planning meeting which was mandated for all title 1 teachers. The purpose of the meeting was to
allow teachers time to connect with teachers from other schools and plan a specific subject. This
particular meeting was intended to create content lesson plans and it was hosted at the Operation
Smile building. These notes provide evidence of communication to create a uniform plan for the
grade to follow in the upcoming study of Rome. This planning meeting allowed the other
teachers and me to bounce ideas off of one another and come up with an organized plan for
teaching the content in the required timeframe. I found this meeting to be effective because it
fostered communication and collaboration among the teachers and allowed them to create lesson
plans for an entire month.
The second artifact presented illustrates communication with parents regarding students'
work. Each week students take home a weekly folder that contains their work from the previous

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION

week, and this includes activities, assessments, exit tickets, worksheets, etc. Before students take
the folders home, the teacher and I paperclip this note to the stack of papers; the following day
students are required to return the note. This demonstrates weekly communication with parents
in basic manner. It is effective in providing the teacher and me information about the level of
parent involvement. When parents are heavily involved they typically check the first box stating
that they reviewed the packet contents and leave a brief note to the teacher. However parents that
are less interested simply return the slip without comments and check the second box stating that
they will review the child's packet of information at a later time. Therefore I find this form of
parent communication to be simply and quick but effective in allowing parents to voice
comments or concerns.
Reflection on Theory and Practice
Effective communication is a high priority to being a successful teacher. Teachers must
articulate their ideas and concerns in a proper manner and also be mindful of social cues that are
presented through nonverbal communication. From my first teacher education course at Regent
University, I have learned the importance of effective communication. An example is reading
Rigor Redefined in Orientation to Teaching; this article by Tony Wagner discussed the
importance of seven 21st century survival skills. This article and discussion had a lasting impact
on the way I approached my courses and practicum placements. It is essential to teach students
the value of oral and written communication, and the best way it to model this concept on a daily
basis (Wagner, 2008). Many times the media portrays poor forms of communication for children.
Yet teachers must illustrate a positive form of effective communication so they see the benefits
lead to success along with enjoyable collaboration with peers.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION

In addition, my time at Regent University prepared me for success in this area by


providing me with ample practice. Through communicating for online classes, participating in
team projects, and being "out in the field" during practicum placements, I have gained thorough
practice in establishing articulate and clear communication with other individuals. In particular I
found the collaborative planning meeting that I attended with the other 3rd grade teachers to
resemble teamwork with Regent peers when completing an assignment. Each person took a
different role in completing the task, the overall goal was clear, communication remained
positive, and individuals sparked creativity in one another.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION


References
Wagner, T. (2008). Rigor Redefined. Educational Leadership, 66(2), 20-24