Hi, my name is Allura Poulin. I am a graduating senior at the University of Rhode Island, majoring in Communicative Disorders with a minor in Leadership Studies. This is my final portfolio.
These are the 10 objectives for development and learning, defined by Teaching Strategies Inc, to be used as a guideline for children age birth through kindergarten. I have chosen to focus on four of them: Social Emotional, Language, Cognitive, and Social Studies.
Each objective has 3 “subcategories of achievement.
It did not take long for me to figure out what methods worked best for me when it came to managing my time and my priorities. I tend to be a very structured person, and with a new hectic schedule I had to bring to college with me some of the structure I had lost when I left high school. Stress can be detrimental to both productivity and relationships. My first year FLITE class helped me to realize the importance of time management, and how it works as a “magic” stress relief tool. I moved quickly in the direction of lists, color-coding, post-its, and lots of advance planning to help me manage my new college schedule and stay on task, simultaneously reducing stress as well.
Being in the leadership minor truly opened my eyes to the value of networking. I make a strong effort to sustain positive relationships with those I encounter, from friends to professors, mentors, supervisors, and anyone in between. Some of my networking tools, linkedin and facebook, and as evidence for the success of my networking so far, I have a professional letter of recommendation from one of my internship supervisors.
Tuckman’s Theory on Group Develompent has been one of the most useful and reliable for me in terms of guidelines that I diligently follow when working in any group situation, especially when there is conflict or the challenge of working with a particularly difficult individual. When working with others, it is important to set some guidelines, and the 5 stages of group development really help to work through the process. My first leadership group project was to come up with an idea and write a grant proposal as a group. By approaching each group meeting using the stages of development, we were able to communicate and function together positively as a group. Starting with Forming: getting aquainted, orienting towards a goal, Storming: addressing the challenge and managing conflict, Norming: harmonizing and setting roles and goals, Performing: cooperating and executing, and ending with Adjourning: evaluating, maintaining, and debriefing. I have been able to successfully follow these stages of group development to help me work cooperatively and constructively in groups throughout my four years of college, in varying situations.
Active listening techniques that I have learned and put into practice include providing feedback, giving/receiving constructive criticism, and following a debriefing process. Providing feedback is a way to demonstrate to someone that they have been heard, but it is also a way to spark and promote conversation, and positive interaction through turn taking. Constructive criticism is a productive and non-negative way to suggest change or opinion. The important thing to remember with constructive criticism is that it goes both ways, and so does listening. Debriefing is something that I learned to use effectively through some of the organizations I found and joined through my leadership involvement, SOLC and Challenge Course Facilitating. It’s a way to help people look back on their experiences and learn from the process – and such a process is only successful when active listening techniques and positive communication exchanges are taking place.
As I have personally developed as leader, my basic needs have remained the same, but how I express those needs has changed dramatically. As I have made the transition slowly from follower to leader, I have worked further toward the level of self- actualization: working on constant reflection and growth. Having satisfied the lower level of needs, it has been interesting to see my drive for helping others to achieve those lower level needs as well.
As I moved forward on my leadership journey, and important step was developing public speaking skills. Eye contact, projection, capturing an audiences attention….all of these are important skills to have, especially if the goal is to broaden horizons and help to lead or teach others. One of the first courses I took for leadership at URI was a public speaking communications course, because when leading others, confidence, good communication, and interpersonal skills are very important tools to have in your back pocket! Not only has public speaking helped me when it comes to making classroom presentations, but I have held a leadership position in several organizations on campus throughout my 4 college years, and the finer tuned my public speaking became, I could tell that my effective leadership skills were increasing. Some positions that required my ability to speak and communicate successfully include: being a peer leader for Institute, acting as a facilitator for SOLC and the Challenge Course on campus, working as a Civic Engagement Leader for first year volunteer projects, and stepping up as the President for the women’s organization, WOWW.
Mentorship and experiential learning are ways that have impacted me greatly in term of learning. I began my leadership journey attending the first year leadership institute. After being inspired by my peer leaders, I entered the leadership minor, and later returned the favor, becoming a peer leader myself. One of the most valuable things I have gained from the minor, is the impact that a mentor, or peer leader can have. After having some of my peers help to teach one of my first FLITE class, I realized that I was able to relate to and gain so much from someone who had previously been in my shoes. I took what I had gained from these experiences, and joined an organization that focuses on providing its members with that mentee to mentor transition (WOWW). I was able to choose a mentor to learn from, and later become a mentor myself. I believe that the mentor to mentee cycle is a valuable and impactful way for someone to learn. Through the minor, I have also learned that I have an affinity toward experiential learning. Learning by DOING, and creating meaning through direct experience, has been something I had not been offerd much in a classroom setting before I entered college. After getting a taste of how I personally am able to gain and retain so much through experiential learning, it has become a preferential way for me to approach any kind of learning in a positive and powerful way. This to me has been the most valuable and impactful piece of learning that has been brought to me through the leadership minor here at URI…because it has effected so much how I have developed, and will continue to effectively learn in the future.
Critical thinking is very important when it comes to good leadership. Both critical thinking and logic are used to help leaders act ethically. The connecting of previous experiences, as I learned in HDF 412, is a way to utilize “reflective reasoning” instead of jumping to conclusions and making unwise decisions. Decisions made through reflective reasoning help to build credibility as a leader. Dewey’s model for reflective thinking involves a 5 step process moving from: defining the problem, identifying the cause, establishing criteria for solving the problem, brainstorming solutions that fit the criteria and final picking the solution that fits best. This method, and using critical thinking as a way of working through a problem logically as opposed to irrationally in order to find the best possible solution, is a way to connect and learn from previous experiences, and make ethical decisions as a credible leader.
Even before I came to URI, I have always been one to think outside the box, and rarely take what is given to me without asking questions. In a very tangible way, this represents my leadership style, challenge the process. I relate closely to that leadership practice as someone who often takes chances and learns from my mistakes. I treat every bump in the road as a learning experience, and remain innovative as I constantly search for new opportunities to change for the better.. My top five strengths are : Individualizer, Developer, Activator, Learner, and Harmony. All five have meaning centered in development of interpersonal relationships, which relates very closely to my personality style as a “feeler”, someone who very connected to my emotions and relationships with others. Being an individualizer means I am intrigued by the unique qualities of people. Being a Developer means that I try to cultivate the potential in others. Being an Activator means I try to put ideas and thoughts into action. Being a learner means I enjoy the process of learning and have a desire to continuously improve. And Harmony means that I am always seeking compromise. My personal talents and strengths are very interrelated and they reflect not only my personality styles, but my leadership style and way of life as well.
Before you progress to the stage where you can actively lead others, you first need to have a solid grasp on your self awareness. You must know yourself, and be able to lead yourself before you can even think of leading others. The act of progression towards knowing yourself, leading yourself, and leading others is a cyclical process….as you progress, former stages of the process of becoming a positive leader must be constantly re-evaluated. The self is always changing, always growing, always developing. Wilson’s Model has kept me grounded and constantly re-evaluating my leadership strengths and new perspectives, and even new skills to keep me confident of my self leadership and therefore my ability to be a competent leader to others.
Culture is the learned and shared values, beliefs, and behaviors of a group of people as indicated by their social processes. Cultural Anthropology is the study of human society and culture; it describes, analyzes, interprets, and explains social and cultural similarities and differences. Cultural anthropology has been a very important part of my leadership journey because as demonstrated in the Wilson Model - to effectively lead others you must first know yourself, and in order to fully know yourself you must first broaden your horizons and perspectives through experience and reevaluation. Cultural anthropology in leadership comes into play because by understanding other cultural paradigms like; language, gender roles, high or low context, etc, you can more from a ethnocentric view (like that of a 4 year old) to a more ethno relative view. Being a more Culturally competent individual, being able to understand, communicate, and interact cross-culturally, makes you a more effective leader.
Leadership is a process, and in order to facilitate positive social change, you need to take action in a way that will help society function more effectively and humanely. The Social Change Model examines leadership development from three overlapping and interrelated categories: the individual, the group, and society. Reflecting on the critical values of the social change model, I have actively participated in the Vagina Monologues, a play designed to spread awareness on the oppression of women. It is a collection of true stories told not only to talk about the physical and emotional abuse that some women are faced with, but also the misogyny that still today prevents women from succeeding at the same level as men when given the same means. This happens on an individual and institutional level both in the United States and Overseas. By participating in the productions at URI, it is my goal to help spread awareness to the URI community and beyond because I wish to create social change in terms of the oppression, discrimination, marginalization, and underrepresentation faced by women.
And now here is the grand finale of my leadership portfolio, four years of my leadership journey complete, and years more to go as I leave college and move on to my future, my career, and my next stage of development, both as a person and a leader.
Table of Contents <ul><li>Overview – My Leadership journey, related to my prospective field of Speech Language Pathology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on Objectives for Development and Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Teaching Strategies Inc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social Emotional </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social Studies </li></ul></ul></ul>
Objectives for Development and Learning <ul><li>The first four years of your life are not unlike the first four years spent as a college student. </li></ul><ul><li>Studying to be a Speech Language Pathologist, I have spent considerable time learning about child development. The time between birth and kindergarten is crucial for acquiring life skills, including speech and language. </li></ul><ul><li>I have found many parallels between the objectives for learning and development of a child, and benchmarks often reached by college students. The following is a comparison between my personal leadership journey, and how my accomplishments as a 22 year old relate to the developmental goals of a 5 year old. </li></ul>
Objectives for Development and Learning (Birth through Kindergarten) – Teaching Strategies Inc. <ul><li>Social-Emotional </li></ul><ul><li>Physical </li></ul><ul><li>Language </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive </li></ul><ul><li>Literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Mathematics </li></ul><ul><li>Science and Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Social Studies </li></ul><ul><li>The Arts </li></ul><ul><li>English Language Acquisition </li></ul>
Social-Emotional (Birth through Kindergarten) <ul><li>1. Regulates own emotions and behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>2. Establishes and sustains positive relationships </li></ul><ul><li>3. Participates cooperatively and constructively in group situations </li></ul>
Regulates own Emotions and Behaviors: Time/Stress Management <ul><li>As a child, being able to regulate your own emotions has to do with not throwing a fit every time you don’t get your way. As a college student, emotions and stress come at you in a very different, but equally overwhelming way. </li></ul><ul><li>Starting college, I really had to get a grasp on many of my emotions and not let them get the best of me, like being homesick, alone, stressed out, pressured, etc. This on top of having a new huge workload led me to have to improve on my time management skills, and therefore improve on my self leadership as well. </li></ul>
Establishes and sustains positive relationships: Friendships/Networking <ul><li>As a child, a positive relationship could be as simple as remembering a name, or “playing nice”. But building positive relationships in college are not only essential for having a shoulder to lean on, but they are often essential for the future as well. </li></ul><ul><li>Upon entering college, I not only began to build friendships with my peers (and professors), but began to learn the value of keeping those relationships positive for the future. You never know what benefits simply staying in touch with someone may have for a future career, or recommendation, or a place to stay when your down on your luck! </li></ul>
Participates cooperatively and constructively in group situations: Working in a group/Tuckman’s group development <ul><li>When you are young, often the only time you need to worry about cooperatively existing with others is when you need to take turns or share. But as a college student, I have learned to both work in a group, and avoid some of the negative aspects of working in a group, such as group think. </li></ul><ul><li>One of the my first leadership classroom encounters in college involved learning to work in a group to prepare for a final project that was taken on together. This was essential life prep knowledge, because more often than not, you will end up working with others no matter what your future career involves. </li></ul>
Language (Birth through Kindergarten) <ul><li>1. Listens to and understands increasingly complex language </li></ul><ul><li>2. Uses language to express thoughts and needs </li></ul><ul><li>3. Uses appropriate conversational and other communication skills </li></ul>
Listens to and understands increasingly complex language: Developing listening skills/techniques <ul><li>Listening and learning as a toddler is how you become introduced to the world around you. But as a college student, active listening techniques help to bring your relationships to a whole new level. </li></ul><ul><li>Just as listening as a toddler helps you to learn how to speak and function at a basic level, listening as a young adult is also a learning process. I have continually actively listened and learned from the process throughout my four years of college. </li></ul>
Active Listening Feedback, Contstructive Critiscism, and Debriefing!
Uses language to express thoughts and needs: Hierarchy of needs <ul><li>When you are young, you cry to express needs. As you develop, you slowly begin to use more and more language to express those needs. As a developing adult, although your essential needs do not change, the way you express your needs certainly does. </li></ul>
Uses appropriate conversational and other communication skills: Public Speaking <ul><li>Appropriate skills for a developing child when it comes to interaction is working toward staying focused long enough to be able to answer a question. </li></ul><ul><li>For a developing college student, interaction and communication begin to expand from one on one conversations, to speaking to many people at once. </li></ul>
Cognitive (Birth through Kindergarten) <ul><li>1. Demonstrates positive approaches to learning </li></ul><ul><li>2. Remembers and connects experiences </li></ul><ul><li>3. Uses classification skills </li></ul>
Demonstrates positive approaches to learning: Being Mentored/Peer led and Experiential learning <ul><li>Children love to learn, but sometimes it takes them a while to find their unique style that suits the way they learn best. </li></ul><ul><li>I personally have found that my positive approach to learning, or the way I learn best, is through someone I look up to and respect, like a mentor, or a peer that I can relate to. I also approach learning in a positive way when I learn from experience. By actively doing something, it stays with me more effectively then by reading something in a textbook that I can’t relate to. </li></ul>
mentorship/peer leading and experiential learning
Remembers and connects experiences: Critical thinking/ Problem solving/Decision making <ul><li>A toddler is learning daily through experience, and much of cognitive development stems from remembering and connecting experiences. If a toddler touches a hot stove, they learn that a stove is hot, and will learn from that experience, and not make the same decision in the future. </li></ul><ul><li>An adult learns in much the same way, but at a higher level of cognition. Future decisions are made based on previous experiences – critical thinking and problem solving is used to find the best methods. </li></ul>
<ul><li>critical thinking journal </li></ul><ul><li>12 Angry Men </li></ul>
Uses classification skills: Leadership Style <ul><li>A child uses early classification to identify the difference between colors, shapes, and people, toys, and other very broad distinctions. </li></ul><ul><li>A more advanced type of classification involves getting to know different personality types, and different styles of leadership. An important application of that classification skill is learning how those different styles work well together. </li></ul>
What is my Leadership Style? What are my strengths? “L is for Leadership!” Model the way Inspire a shared vision Challenge the process Enable others to act Encourage the heart Individualizer Developer Activator Learner Harmony
Social Studies (Birth through Kindergarten) <ul><li>1. Demonstrates knowledge about self </li></ul><ul><li>2. Shows basic understanding of people and how they live </li></ul><ul><li>3. Explores change related to familiar people or places </li></ul>
Demonstrates knowledge about self: Know yourself/Lead yourself <ul><li>Self awareness of a child birth through kindergarten starts with knowing that you have body parts, features, a voice, and a name. </li></ul><ul><li>But self awareness changes as you grow, and your intimate knowledge that you develop about yourself and your personality only continues to help you progress. “Only when you have your own act together can you lead others” </li></ul>
Shows basic understanding of people and how they live: Cultural Anthropology/Competence <ul><li>A child’s perspective on the people around them and the way that they live, is very self centered and basic. </li></ul><ul><li>But as you develop into a young adult, your basic understanding grows into a more dynamic perspective of the diversity of the people around you. </li></ul>
Explores change related to familiar people or places: Social change model <ul><li>A developing child from birth to kindergarten will begin to push the boundaries of familiarity in search of change, and trying new things. </li></ul><ul><li>When a college student is in search of change, it has less to do with trying new things, and has more of a focus on trying to make a positive difference. In leadership, the Social Change Model is based on 7 critical values, with the 8 th being “Change”: Consciousness of Self, Congruence, Commitment, Collaboration, Common Purpose, Controversy with Civility, and Citizenship. </li></ul>