Advice On How Both Parents And Teachers Can Turn Disagreement Into Something Constructive For The Child

Disagreements and conflict are inevitable when it comes to parents, teachers and school administrators. Often disagreement comes from a good place - from both parties CARING, and many teachers have suggested that it's far better to engage with parents who care enough to get involved than it is to try to get parents who "don't care", involved in the education of their children.

Constructive Discussions The Goal

For both parents and teachers, often the biggest impact when it comes to conflict isn't how the ultimate decision turns out, but HOW the process of resolution plays out. Badly conducted conversations erode trust on both sides, so it's essential that both parties try to remain constructive and focused on the issues, even when emotions run high.

Each conflict or disagreement will either strengthen the bonds between teacher and parent, making further discussions about the welfare of the child easier, or it will do the opposite, and place teacher and parent on opposite sides, making it MORE difficult to care for the needs of the child.

Prevention Worth Its Weight In Gold
Difficult conversations don't escalate into yelling and bad feelings on their own. In fact it's often the case that when there is a conflict, the WAY its handled becomes the prime focal point of the argument, with the initial issue getting lost.
The language you use, the phrases and so on send important messages, and if they are confrontational in nature, the conflict will escalate. We've written a book: Conflict Prevention In The Workplace: Using Cooperative Communication that teaches people how to modify their words so they no longer sound CONFRONTATIONAL. It's not written specifically for education, but it applies nonetheless. It's available right now so you can download it immediately.

Below you'll find a number of articles on the subject of managing disagreement between parents and teachers or school administrators. Some are short and to the point, some longer, but all are essential reading to help staff and parents step outside the conflict escalation cycle and even when there is disagreement, to disagree without being disagreeable for the good of the students.

Top : Disagreements Between Parents And Teachers - Handling Them Productively :

Disagreements between parents and school staff are inevitable and often come from a "good place", because people CARE. In this section we'll look at ways to manage conflicts to create positive outcomes, and prevent escalation.

More On How To Manage Conflict Between Teachers And Parents : Disagreements Between Parents And Teachers - Handling Them Productively

10 best strategies for dealing with difficult parents - by na
Basic hints, but useful in dealing with difficult parents. (Views So Far 452 )

For Administrators: Conflict and the Expert School Leader - by Patsy E. Johnson
School principals devote a significant portion of their time to dealing with conflict. Principals who look for the sources of these conflicts may find that many of them reside in the principal's own interpersonal behaviors, which may be products of their leadership skills. Four important leadership variables related to the amount of conflict are conflict response styles, problem solving, communicator styles, and bases of social power. Each of theses dimensions can be partitioned into two domains--concern for self and concern for others. The degree and consistency that concern for others is operational determines the depth of expertise of the principa's conflict management. Expert school leaders have developed a healthy other-centered perspective of running their schools. Conversely, novice school leaders employ knowledge and skill gained to support only self-survival in the principalship, which will lead to personal and professional disappointment. (Views So Far 471 )

For Parents: How to handle parent/teacher disagreements - by na
Written for parents, covers basic ways to approach teachers, and handle situations where the parent's view is different from that of the teacher. (Views So Far 640 )

For Parents: Some Common Sense Steps to Resolving Disagreements Between Parents and Schools - by Learning Disabilities Association of America
Excellent advice for parents on how to deal with disagreements with your child's teacher. Covers preparing for the meeting, communicating effectively, and what to do when you can't resolve your differences with a specific teacher. (Views So Far 511 )

For Parents: Special Education Advocacy - When Parents and Schools Disagree - by Ruth Heitin
For parents of children in special ed. or with special needs, covers four areas where parents and teachers clash when it comes to services for special education students. (Views So Far 454 )

For Teachers: A Mindful Approach to Parent Conflict  - by Nancy Rappaport
Nine important principles to apply to conflict with parents. Not sure how mindfulness actually comes in to the content, but nonetheless, a good piece. (Views So Far 610 )