It is an honor to have Alex Mestres as the guest on this episode. She uses her vast experience working with the deaf and hard of hearing community to talk about the importance of being present in all communication, both in what you say and in how you listen. We expose you to some content that is probably new to many of you, but that can expand and potenitally reframe the way you view communication in all of your organizations, teams, and many other settings. Using her expertise with the deaf and hard of hearing community we discuss the Servant Leadership attributes of listening, empathy, and community building. This episode will get you thinking about how much noise is in your environment that blocks good communication, what positive communication practice you put in the drawer for use later on, and how we allow others to process. One communication method will never reach everyone in our organization and it is only as we learn to communicate in a language that is authentic to all the members on our team that we truly can achieve great results. There is so many applications for the information contained in this episode if we open our ears and hearts to hear the full message.
Alex Mestres was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Out of highschool she attended Miami Dade Community College where she focused on Early Childhood Education and American Sign Language. Alex then went on to receiv a Bachelor’s Degree at Flagler College in Elementary Education and Education of the Hearing-Impaired K-12. She began her career at the Debbie School, a program specifically geared towards support children with hearing loss. She was the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teacher in the total communication classroom, a environment where content is presented in both spoken language as well as American Sign Language. After a few years at the school, Alex moved onto the public school system in Miami-Dade County . After the arrival of her second son, Alex went into administration at a local early learning center. She worked within a small church school then moved on to work with the Homestead Family YMCA. She eventually led there early childhood center and camp programs. After leaving the YMCA, she continued her career in early childhood, working as a curriculum coordinator and teacher at a large church school. As her boys grew she decided to go back into public school education and became the chairperson for Miami-Dade County Public Schools Deaf and Hard of Hearing Department. She spent time working with students and teachers as well as training on best practices for the profession. After leaving the public school, Alex opened her own consulting business specifically working with charter schools on supporting the deaf and hard of hearing students in their mainstream classrooms. She also works part-time for the University of Miami Children’s Hearing Program as their education specialist. Her role is to counsel families on navigating their educational options when they have a child diagnosed with hearing loss. Alex presents locally and nationally on topics centered around working with this population. She also works with the boards of AGBell Florida as a member and AGBell National as a consultant. Alex also recently completed her Master’s degree in the Applied Learning Sciences.
Alex has been married to a City of Miami Firefighter for the past 29 years and they have two sons. Her oldest is married and they have a beautiful 1 ½ year old little girl. Her youngest is engaged to be married in December.
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