Working with and Evaluating Difficult School Employees

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Help marginal employees take positive steps to improve their performance and behavior!

Managing difficult employees is one of the most challenging aspects of a school leader’s job. Written by experienced administrators, this resource provides specific strategies to identify, work with, and evaluate employees who have marginal, deficient, or negative behaviors. This book includes:

  • Sample dialogues for conducting difficult conversations
  • Templates for putting concerns into writing and developing improvement plans
  • Information about legal issues and ways to protect yourself
  • Methods for working with teachers, secretaries and assistants, paraprofessionals, and custodial staff
  • Steps to take when termination becomes necessary

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Editorial Reviews

Dan Hoverman
“The Ellers have done an excellent job identifying supervision problemsthat plague administrators on a daily basis. They provide clear and detailed strategies to address personnel problems covering virtually every employment group. I strongly recommend this book as a quick reference for all school administrators as they deal with difficult employees.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412958684
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 12/10/2009
  • Pages: 119
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John Eller has had a variety of experiences in working with adults over the years he has been in education. His experiences include work educational leaders at Virginia Tech University, developing teacher leaders in a Maters program, serving as the Executive Director of Minnesota ASCD, work as a principal’s training center director, a position as an assistant superintendent for curriculum, learning, and staff development, and several principal positions in a variety of settings. In addition to the work he does in training and supporting facilitators, John also does work in the areas of dealing with difficult people, building professional learning communities, employee evaluation, conferencing skills, coaching skills, strategic planning strategies, school improvement planning and implementation, differentiated instruction, leadership for differentiation, employee recruitment, selection, and induction, supervisory skills, and effective teaching strategies.

He has his PhD. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Loyola University-Chicago and his MS in Educational Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. John has authored books on substitute teaching, wrote The Training Video Series for the Professional School Bus Driver, The principals’ Guide to Custodial Supervision contributes articles for the publication Superintendents Only. He wrote Effective Group Facilitation in Education: How to Energize Meetings and Manage Difficult Groups, and co-authored So Now You’re the Superintendent, the best selling, Energizing Staff Meetings and Creative Strategies to Improve School Culture all through Corwin Press.

Sheila Eller has worked in a multitude of educational settings during her career. In addition to her current position as a principal in the Fairfax County Virginia Public Schools, she has served as a middle school principal in the Moundsview Minnesota School District, as a principal in other schools in Minnesota and Illinois, as a university professor, as a Special Education Teacher, a Title I Math Teacher, and a self-contained classroom teacher in grades 1-4. Sheila has also been a member of the Executive Board of Minnesota ASCD and has been a regional president of the Minnesota Association of Elementary School Principals. She has advanced coursework in educational administration and supervision from St. Cloud State University, her Master’s Degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and a Bachelors Degree from Iowa State University.

Sheila is a regular presenter at the ASCD National Conventions sharing her expertise on the topic of effective staff meetings and multiage instruction. While she served as a professor at National-Louis University in Evanston Illinois, she worked on the development team for a classroom mathematics series that was adopted by several districts in the region. Her classroom and instructional techniques were featured on a video that was produced as a complement to this series. She works with educators in developing energized staff meetings, school improvement initiatives, multiage teaching strategies, employee supervision, and other teaching and learning content areas. In addition to this book, Sheila co-authored the best-selling Energizing Staff Meetings and Creative Strategies to Improve School Climate. through Corwin Press.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors
1. The Nature of Difficult/Marginal Employees: Why Don't These People Listen to Reason and Improve?
Frames of Reference
Characteristics of Difficult Employees
The Response to Change
Understanding the Source of the Difficulty
2. What Skills and Tools Do I Need in Order to Take On This Situation?
Background of Employee Discipline
A Competencies-Based Approach to Thinking About Employee Problems
The Definition of Success When Working With Difficult or Deficient Employees
Your Readiness in Dealing With a Difficult Situation or Person
The Use of Job Descriptions in Your Work With Difficult School Employees
3. Strategies for Confronting Marginal and Deficient Behaviors
Authority Voice
4. Protecting Yourself While Dealing With Difficult Employees
Displacing Negative Energy
Additional Self-Protection Strategies
5. Strategies for Working With Difficult/Marginal Teachers
The Law and Teacher Employment
Your Master Contract or Master Agreement
Understanding Your Evaluation Criteria
The Ability to Describe Deficient or Substandard Work
Base and Surface Competancies
Deciding Whether to Move Forward to Terminate Employment or Develop a Growth Plan
Growth Plans
Delivering a Deficiency Notice or Termination Message to a Teacher
The Entire Cycle
6. Strategies for Working with Difficult/Marginal Secretaries and Office
Handling Your Administrative Assistants
A Basic Set of Administrative Assistant/Office Employee Tasks
Base and Surface Competancies
Prioritizing Work Tasks
Planning Sessions to Establish Priorities for the Work Completion
Growth Plans
Delivering a Deficiency Notice or Termination Message to an Administrative Assistant
7. Strategies for Working with Difficult/Marginal Paraprofessionals and Teaching Assistants
The Nature of Teaching Assistants and Paraprofessionals
Base and Surface Competancies
Growth Plans
Delivering a Performance Concern or Termination Message to a Paraprofessional or Teaching Assistant
An Example of a Meeting and Letter of Reprimand for a Paraprofessional
8. Strategies for Working with Difficult/Marginal Custodians
Possible Difficult Custodial Behaviors
Effective Delegation of Tasks and Assignments
Base and Surface Competancies
Growth Plans
Delivering a Performance or Skill Deficit Concern to a Custodial Employee
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