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Dealing with the Tough Stuff: Practical Solutions for School Administrators



Dealing with the Tough Stuff: Practical Solutions for School Administrators

John Gabriel, Paul Farmer

ISBN: 978-1-118-23862-2 June 2012 Jossey-Bass 192 Pages


The much-needed leadership tips and tools for new school administrators

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

Acknowledgments xiii

About the Authors xv

Introduction xvii

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

References 157

Index 161