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.

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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

Parents and Teachers: Turning Conflicts Into Partnerships - by Mark Phillips
Realities of managing conflict between parents and teachers, and how to convert those disagreements into something positive for the child. (Views So Far 383 )

Resolving Conflict and Disagreements Between Teachers and Parents - by na
Some simple tips for parents and teachers on how to resolve differences about students. Written for special ed. but applies to all disagreements between school staff and parents. (Views So Far 474 )

Special Education: Resolving Disputes with Parents Series - by NASET
Multipart series on how to address disputes with parents about special education students. Part 1 - Informal Approaches to Resolution Part 2 - Filing a State Complaint Part 3 -  Mediation Part 4 - The Due Process Complaint Part 5 -  The Resolution Process Part 6 -  The Due Process Hearing, Summarized (Views So Far 393 )

The Dicey Parent-Teacher Duet - by SARA MOSLE
Excellent advice here on preventing and managing disagreements between parent and teacher, including the limits of electronic communication, and encouraging communication amongst all three parties: teacher, parent AND student. (Views So Far 292 )

There's lots more in this section: Prev 6