The Resilient Teacher: How Do I Stay Positive and Effective When Dealing with Difficult People and Policies?

The Resilient Teacher: How Do I Stay Positive and Effective When Dealing with Difficult People and Policies?

The Resilient Teacher: How Do I Stay Positive and Effective When Dealing with Difficult People and Policies?

The Resilient Teacher: How Do I Stay Positive and Effective When Dealing with Difficult People and Policies?

Synopsis

A collection of strategies for resolving common problems that teachers face in school and for communicating more effectively with colleagues, parents, and students.

Excerpt

Imagine a day when all your students, colleagues, and parents are pleasant, polite, and respectful—they do the important things according to your preferences, and when they disagree, they express themselves without rancor, anger, or attitude. Imagine, too, that you have the freedom to teach your students according to their needs rather than to the dreaded test. If a student misbehaves and you send him to the office, you feel confident that you will get the support you seek; when you speak, your students, colleagues, and administrators really listen. When you call students’ parents, they are eager to resolve any issues rather than quick to cast blame at you. Your students are enthusiastic when they enter your room, and so are you. Hard as it may be to believe, your days can be exactly like this! Teaching needs to feel satisfying—you owe that to yourself and, more importantly, to your students, who need you to be upbeat, energetic, and inspiring every day to motivate them to do their best.

Being a teacher has never been harder than it has been lately. It is no accident that teacher attrition rates grew by 50 percent between 1993 and 2008 (Kopkowski, 2008). the Common Core State Standards are confusing and evershifting. Decisions that affect you every day are being made far beyond your classroom. Students, parents, colleagues, administrators, and unseen state and national officials either don’t seem aware of or don’t care about the daily realities you face. Whether enshrined in policy or evident in the culture of your school or district, some approaches to teaching kids aren’t working, yet few seem willing to do anything about it.

Although there will always be some important issues over which teachers have little control, what you do and say when problems get in the way can often make the difference in achieving, reclaiming, or sustaining the fulfillment you and your students need. in these pages, you will learn how to make rigid policies more flexible, difficult students more cooperative, challenging parents more supportive, and dismissive colleagues more respectful.

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