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OFE Reflection and Analysis

December 3, 2019
1. Professional Competencies
a. Empathy: The ability to understand the feelings and emotions of other groups or
individuals (Lecture, Week 10.)
b. Teamwork: Teamwork is the act of several individuals working together and
sharing responsibilities to accomplish a common goal. For a team to be
successful, all of the members should put forth effort and keep clear
communication (Lecture, Week 6.)
c. Valuing differences: Differences are ways in which people are dissimilar based on
culture, perspectives, backgrounds, etc. Valuing these differences is recognizing
that they exist and seeing them as advantages (Lecture, Week 8.)
d. Conflict management: When managing conflict, it is important to understand the
whole situation before moving forward. The best way to manage conflict is to
work in a direct and calm manor (Lecture, Week 12.)
e. Establishing Relationships: Quality relationships are accomplished and
maintained through consistent, direct communications with groups or individuals
(Lecture, Week 4.)
2. My OFE Experience
a. I served at Mary Lee Johnston Community Learning Center (MLJCLC) as a
marketing specialist. Their mission is to provide high quality, affordable child
care and education programming based on the needs of the community.
b. My job as a marketing specialist was to consistently update all social media
channels and create flyers about upcoming events. This aspect of my job was
important because it kept parents updated on everything going on around the
center. Another important role I had was planning their annual trivia night. This
was very important because the money raised at the trivia night goes directly to
the center.
c. Three stakeholders for MLJCLC are the teachers, the parents, and the donors.
First off, the parents have the largest stake because the staff at MLJCLC is who
they are entrusting with their children’s early development. Next, the teachers
have a stake, because it is their place of employment, and they all genuinely care
so much about all of the children and each other. The donors have a stake in what
goes on at MLJCLC because they are donating their hard-earned money to a
cause that they are passionate about, therefore they have an interest in what goes
on.
3. Competencies I have developed
a. Teamwork: One of the competencies I developed was teamwork. I had to work
with three supervisors and another BA2500 student on several projects. Mainly,
we had to collaborate to prepare for our large goal of organizing a successful
trivia night. Each of us had different responsibilities. The other student compiled a
list of local businesses in Columbia who may be willing to donate to the silent
auction, and together we were responsible for contacting all of them and asking
for donations. As we learned in class, I had to be cooperative and share our
responsibilities and work together towards our goal of a successful trivia night.
One of the things that I really tried to do each time I worked with Corin, the other
student assigned to MLJCLC, I tried to make sure we both indicated what we
were going to work on for that day. This act of goal specification allowed us to
see what we could help each other with and how our actions would move us
towards our ultimate goal of helping MLJCLC plan their trivia night and stay on
track with developing marketing materials (Lecture, Week 6.)
b. Establishing Relationships: I definitely developed my establishing relationships
competency. It was very important for my relationships with my supervisors and
the other student I worked with to build friendly relationships through consistent
respectful contact. I saw my supervisors once a week, so one thing I really tried to
do was pay attention to things they talked about and cared about and try to talk
about them week to week and ask them how their lives were outside of work.
Also, the other student that I worked with is a good friend of mine, who I have a
lot of classes with. Maintaining my relationship with her was very important to
me, so I had to be mindful of that when working together. At the end of the day it
was pretty easy to maintain my relationship with her, because we had a lot more
to relate on. While we didn’t have any extremely difficult situations, we were able
to maintain our positive relationship under the normal stressors of our jobs, as we
learned in class. It was a little bit more challenging to develop a relationship with
my supervisors because we are more different. Developing this relationship in the
end however, did allow me to strengthen my skills in this area (Lecture, Week 4.)
c. Valuing Differences: As we learned in class, diversity is a “must-have”. MLJCLC
really allowed me to develop my valuing differences competency. The book
defines valuing differences as the integration of knowledge about diverse
individuals, culture, and worldview in everyday life. I experienced growth in this
competency through developing marketing materials. The children at the center
are very diverse. From the color of their skin to the customs of their cultures. For
example, when making marketing materials and taking photos, I had to be very
careful to not take pictures of certain kids. One of my supervisors shared with me
that it was a part of some of the children’s religious beliefs to not be in photos at
all. Since most of my responsibilities were trying to capture the daily life of the
children, I really became familiar with the diversity at the center. Also, it was
crucial to show that through the photos and text I used in social media posts and
the brochure I made so potential new families can see how great the diversity is at
the center. Overall, differences are valued so highly at MLJCLC and getting to
help out once a week opened my eyes to ways I can be better in valuing the
differences of those around me (Lecture, Week 4.)
4. My OFE Experience
a. I really enjoyed the fact that I got to volunteer my time and also gain experience
that I can talk about in future interviews or use skills I learned here later in life. In
addition, I really admired the passion my supervisors had for MLJCLC, and the
love they had for each other. It was really inspiring to see how well they worked
together and how much they truly cared about the children and making sure the
center accommodated everyone.
b. I had not heard of MLJCLC prior to BA2500, but when I chose to serve there, I
thought the experience didn’t sound awful. After serving there, I can see how
important quality childcare is for early development, and how big of a decision it
is for parents to trust you with their children. When families are low income, it
can be hard to find childcare that is both affordable and quality. The people that
work at MLJCLC are committed to making sure that doesn’t have to be a choice.
c. The people I worked with were very professional in the sense that they were very
qualified and prepared every day for their work. I like to think that I showed
professionalism as well, I was always on time and respectful. I think the behavior
of everyone in the organization promoted a great environment for the children and
the employees.
d. I will take the things I learned into the workforce and try to make the environment
I am in as good as the culture in MLJCLC. Also, I will be able to speak to my
experiences in interviews and show future employers what I have learned. Also,
way down the line, if I have children, I would look for a childcare place where the
staff is as caring as the staff at MLJCLC.
e. I have learned that it is a lot easier to get things done with a positive relationship.
I could tell that my supervisors all trusted each other, and once they gave basic
instructions to each other, they weren’t concerned with the small details, because
they trusted that everyone would do their part to make things great. Also, they
always had each other’s backs. Obviously, you can’t leave the children alone in a
room, so very frequently the director would step into classrooms if the teacher
needed a break. The relationships they had were so strong and their conflict
management was great because they were all there for each other at the end of the
day.
5. Resume
Mary Lee Johnston Community Learning Center Columbia, MO
Marketing Specialist September 2019-November 2019
 Spent 15+ hours developing marketing materials and posting weekly updates to social
media
 Secured sponsors for a Trivia Night fundraiser with 150+ guests in attendance