I took the collaboration inventory and read it over and over. Most of the issues on that inventory I can meet with optimism and an open mind. I do find that one problem that I will encounter through my career is that issue of language barriers. Not in that I’m not willing to learn new languages of find mediators, but my own personal feelings of how language and ESL is viewed in schools. My personal belief is that if you are in a demographic which primarily speaks one language, the need is great for one to learn that language and integrate themselves in that society. I was doing some observation hours at a middle school, and on their list of daily and weekly classes they had a block dedicated to introducing the Spanish language to the class. This block replaced a science class one week and an art class another. Personally I find this to be troubling that in the early years that they would replace such curriculum with a class that should be for later years and as an elective. Now I am not racist in anyway and actually I am from European/Hispanic decent, but if we allocate monies to these types of classes in early grades I feel that the message is that it’s ok to not speak English and that we should just accept that. In essence it’s almost enabling the minorities to not try and integrate themselves into the society they find themselves in, rather just be patient and that society will bend to them. I don’t meant to rant but when I go to a drive up atm machine and I am asked in Spanish first, well that bothers me. So when it comes to professionalism in the work place, I find that this will be an avenue that I will have to work hard to be understanding, productive and open minded about.
Another aspect that I have dealt with in my undergrad was active listening. Often I find myself wanting to just tell or show people that options that I feel are best and this often will be too abrasive and I will have to learn to interject with my ideas in a suggestive way more than a directive.
As far as working with others and collaborating with other professionals, I don’t fore see any problems. I find that the more resources that are available the higher the success.
I understand that you may feel it is inappropriate to replace existing curriculum with a Spanish class at a young age. In fact, I think that we should introduce foreign language in earlier grades as our brains have a greater capacity to learn these languages. Research tells us that after the age of 7, the window of language acquisition begins to close. (look at some of the stories of feral children.) I am not a proponent of giving up science or art, but there must be a way to incorporate both. We live in a country with many languages. Most countries in the world speak more than one language.
I agree that you will have to think about how you actively listen as well as how you internalize language barriers. I am always working on my active listening!