Dealing with the Tough Stuff: Practical Solutions for School Administrators
August 2012, Jossey-Bass
Fledgling school administrators are often ill-prepared for their new leadership role and are frequently left to their own devices to navigate the slippery terrain of school administration. Dealing with the Tough Stuff: Practical Solutions for School Administrators addresses some of the thornier aspects of being an assistant principal such as handling discipline, mediating student conflicts, working with parents, facilitating parent conferences, and working with staff members. This handy guide will teach the tricks of the trade in order to survive and thrive in the job.
- Filled with the information that is rarely taught but school leaders need to know to be effective administrators
- Written by John Gabriel and Paul Farmer, two veteran and award-winning school leaders
- Includes strategies and illustrative examples for dealing with the down-to-earth problems that confront school administrators
Practical and insightful, the book covers everything from working effectively with parents and staff to mediating conflicts.
Foreword by Douglas Reeves ix
About the Authors xv
PART ONE Working with Students 1
ONE Responding to Student Conflicts 3
Recognize Student Conflicts 4
Mediate Student Conflicts 6
Address Bullying 14
Resolve Student-Teacher Conflicts 23
TWO Understanding and Preventing Student Misbehavior 27
Discuss Discipline with Your Staff 29
Review Discipline Data 39
Make Connections 40
THREE Dealing with Student Discipline 45
Review Your Referrals 47
Engage Your Students 49
Work with Your Students 55
FOUR Conducting Investigations 61
Manage Your Investigation 62
Address Postdiscipline Concerns 72
PART TWO Working with Adults 79
F I V E Creating and Maintaining Parent Partnerships 81
Build a Foundation 82
Involve Parents 88
Keep the Focus on the Student 92
Go Above and Beyond 95
S I X Facilitating Parent Conferences 99
Before the Conference 100
During the Conference 103
After the Conference 108
SEVEN Navigating Staff Communication 111
Guide Conversations 112
Focus on Behaviors, Not Attitudes 124
Tend the Grapevine 126
EIGHT Building Capacity 129
Maintain a Focus on Deep Learning 130
Provide Support for Collaborative Teams 140
Develop Other Leaders 150
CONCLUSION: Beyond the Tough Stuff 153
John G. Gabriel is a nationally known presenter, best-selling author, and principal of John Champe High School in Loudoun County, Virginia.
Paul C. Farmer, a veteran educator and former school principal, is an educational consultant with Solution Tree, Inc., providing consulting services nationally for schools and districts.
Whether a leadership program focuses on being an assistant principal or a principal, the curriculum usually covers basic topics like instruction and curriculum, supervision and evaluation, finance, and school law, all of which are important parts of being a school leader. However, as any veteran can tell you, there’s much more to being a school administrator—and it’s often the things you aren’t taught in Ed school that are the toughest to handle. Fledgling administrators are often left to their own devices to navigate the slippery terrain inherent in the school administrator role.
From two veteran school leaders, Dealing with the Tough Stuff (July 2012, Jossey-Bass) offers practical advice and strategies for areas that are rarely covered in classes: handling discipline effectively, managing school crises, interfacing with parents, mediating conflicts (among both adults and students), framing staff conversations in a positive and productive manner, and more. The authors, John Gabriel and Paul Farmer teach current and aspiring school administrators the tricks of the trade in order to survive and thrive.
This handy guide will teach the tricks of the trade in order to survive and thrive in the job, and filled with the information that is rarely taught but that school leaders need to know to be effective administrators. It Includes strategies and illustrative examples for dealing with the down-to-earth problems that confront school administrators
Practical and insightful, Dealing With Tough Stuff covers everything from working effectively with parents and staff to mediating conflicts.