From Difficult Teachers . . . to Dynamic Teams

Hardcover (Print)

Overview

Unconstructive staff behaviors can disrupt a thriving school environment. School leaders need positive, generative communication strategies that can defuse negativity and inspire teachers to change their behavior and become contributing members of the learning community.

From Difficult Teachers . . . to Dynamic Teams examines the underlying basis of problematic behaviors and provides proactive, proven strategies for building teamwork and a positive school culture. Leaders will discover strategies for enhancing their interpersonal skills, determining if their own behavior is contributing to the problem, and encouraging behavior change in teachers and staff. Based on interviews with more than 50 experienced principals, this valuable resource connects content to practice by offering

Key tools, practical resources, organizational charts, and behavior assessment forms

Sage advice and quotations from experienced educators

Sample dialogues to help identify behavior challenges

"Take Action" sections for specific implementation strategies

Maximize the effectiveness of your staff by building a culture of shared leadership, collegiality, and teamwork!

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Editorial Reviews

Nora G. Friedman
"This is one of the most interesting books I have read to date. This book absolutely fills a void in the field: how to recognize difficult behaviors in teachers and how to reshape their behaviors to help them improve their enjoyment of school and a school’s culture."
Patricia Bowman
“This book reflects a true understanding of the different personalities principals and administrators face and clearly outlines what each leader can—and should—do to establish a positive, proactive environment for their employees and the students. This is one book no administrator should be without.”
Ronald G. Joekel
"What do you do as a principal when you encounter difficult teachers? Brock and Grady deal with this problem head-on as they identify frequently troublesome behaviors, strategies that have proven successful in dealing with problems, and suggestions to help prevent these behaviors in the first place by building a positive culture of shared leadership and teamwork."
Jennifer Fraser
"This should be required reading for all principals, aspiring principals, administrators, and teachers. As a principalof 28 years, I was able to identify all of the descriptors of how people function and how one could react to different styles of personal interaction. The content will resonate with principals irrespective of the type of school."
Kaye L. Peery
“Recently, a colleague and I attended a conference that required a lengthy drive. During the drive, I read this book out loud. We laughed, made jokes, complained, and agreed and disagreed with the authors. This entertaining book is a painless way to study a disagreeable topic. The guidance offered is easily applied to situations we face on a daily basis."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412913461
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara L. Brock is a professor of education at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.She has held a variety of positions in education, including education department chair, director of school administration, elementary principal, and K-12 teacher.She presents nationally and internationally on topics of beginning teacher induction, leadership succession, teacher and principal burnout, and educators with disabilities.She is coauthor with Marilyn Grady of Principals in Transition: Tips for Surviving Succession, From First-Year to First-Rate: Principals Guiding New Teachers, Rekindling the Flame: Principals Combating Teacher Burnout, Avoiding Burnout: A Principal’s Guide to Keeping the Fire Alive, and Launching Your First Principalship.She has published in a number of journals, including The Journal of the Mid-Western Research Association, Educational Considerations, Connections, Clearinghouse, and Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice. She received her bachelor of arts degree in art education from Briar Cliff University, a master of arts with a specialty in school administration from Creighton University, and a doctorate in administration, curriculum, and instruction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Marilyn L. Grady, is professor of educational administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). She is the author or coauthor of 23 books, including From Difficult Teachers to Dynamic Teamwork (2009) with Brock, Getting it Right from the Start (2009) with Kostelnik From First Year to First Rate (2007) with Brock, 194 High-Impact Letters for Busy Principals (2006), 20 Biggest Mistakes Principals Make and How to Avoid Them (2004) and Launching Your First Principalship (2004) with Brock. Her research areas include leadership, the principalship, and superintendent-board relations. She has more than 175 publications to her credit. She is the editor of the Journal of Women in Educational Leadership. Her editorial board service has included Educational Administration Quarterly, International Studies in Educational Administration, International Journal of Learning, Rural Educator, Journal of At-Risk Issues, Journal of School Leadership, Advancing Women in Leadership On-Line Journal, Journal for Rural School and Community Renewal, International Journal of Learning, and Journal for a Just and Caring Education. She is the recipient of the Stanley Brzezinski Research Award, NCPEA’s Living Legend Award, the Donald R. and Mary Lee Swanson Award for Teaching Excellence, UNL’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and UNL’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Status of Women.

Grady coordinates an annual conference on women in educational leadership that attracts national attendance and is in its 24th year. She has been an administrator in K-12 schools as well as at the college and university levels. She received her bachelor’s degree in history from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, and her doctorate in educational administration with a specialty in leadership from The Ohio State University.

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Table of Contents

List of Resources vii

Acknowledgments ix

About the Authors xi

Introduction 1

Part I Identification and Understanding 5

1 Understanding Difficult Teachers 7

Who Are They? 7

How Did They Get This Way? 13

What Do They Want? 15

What Effect Do They Have? 17

2 Difficult Teachers, Difficult Behaviors 25

Chronic Complainers 25

Negative Teachers 31

Inflexible Teachers 32

Noncompliant Teachers 34

Gossipers 35

Anarchists 40

Snipers 42

Bullies 43

Noisemakers 46

Selfish Teachers 48

Part II Solutions and Strategies 49

3 Facilitating Behavior Change: Conversations, Warnings, and Improvement Plans 51

Before a Problem Occurs 51

How to Encourage Behavior Change 56

When Conversations Fail 64

4 Am I Contributing to the Problem? 71

Why Are Some Principals "Difficult"? 73

Could Your Behavior Be Considered Difficult? 76

Fertile Ground for Difficult Teachers 78

Gender-Related Differences in Difficult Behavior 82

Strategies for Change 86

Part III Prevention 91

5 Interpersonal Skills That Help 93

Listening to Understand 95

Speaking for Understanding 99

Body Language 102

Diffusing Emotionally Charged Conversations 103

6 Creating a Culture of Teamwork 111

Building a Positive Culture 112

Focusing on Positive Teachers 115

Creating a Spirit of Teamwork 122

Rewarding Positive People 124

Parting Thoughts: From Difficult Teachers to Dynamic Teamwork 141

Resources 143

References 153

Index 157

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