Issues of Conflict with Teacher Staff By: Christine Truesdell & John VerVers
Importance with Adolescents Bad example Shows it is ok to fight, with no conflict resolution Role model, have to live up to what you are saying and doing Brings outside factors into students Losing audience If the student isn’t happy with the teacher, they may not like them. Students then lose respect and will not want to learn from the teacher. Students may pick sides for the argument and create student–student arguments No teaming, no integrated curriculum Going to have to work in team no matter what If the team isn’t working together, the curriculum will not be integrated. Students will have great difficulty learning and will be caused by the teachers conflicting with each other
This We Believe “The team is the foundation for a strong learning community characterized by a sense of family. Students and teachers on the team become well acquainted, feel safe, respected, and supported, and are encouraged to take intellectual risks” (NMSA/AMLE, pg. 31).
Coordination with other Professionals Third party teacher/team members • Be a mediator, help cool the situation down. • Brings in additional insight • Drawback: may become a 3 against 1 argument Administrator • Is a neutral party, focus is on the students first, rather than the teachers • Has the final say Outside groups • Do not have as big of a say in a teacher-teacher argument • May have a huge impact because it is their kids. Care for the kids not the teacher’s argument.
This We Believe “Effective leaders challenge and change practices that do not serve students’ best interests and confront issues not in line with the vision” (NMSA/AMLE, pg. 29)
Advisory as a means to Address the Issue Teacher apologize Say how they were wrong, what they can do to fix the situation Conflict Resolution Teacher gives a lesson on proper and professional ways to deal with arguments Shows how to use a third-party/mediator Rebuild the relationships Relationships may be strained from the argument; teacher will need to re-acquire the relationship.
Creating a Culture of Connectedness through Middle School Advisory Programs “Middle school reformers have widely promoted advisory programs as a way to strengthen connectedness at the middle level. Broadly defined, advisory programs are configurations in which an adult advisor meets regularly during the school day with a group of students to provide academic and social-emotional mentorship and support, to create personalization within the school, and to facilitate a small peer community of learners.” (Shulkind, pg. 20-27)
Teacher Role Teachers role • Teachers role to admit when they are wrong • To act respectfully in all circumstances (acting professionally) especially around students • NO ARGUING IN FRONT OF STUDENTS! Modeling • Proper conflict resolution • If the argument is seen the students, make sure the students see the resolution/compromise • Be calm, collective, understanding
Importance with Adolescents • Looping • If a teacher and a student do not get along this will carry on for all the years the student is at the school • Respect/Fear • Student/whole class loses respect for the teacher • Students may fear the teacher and not want to ask for help • How the conflict is resolved • Peacefully: Use love and logic, actually understand why they are doing it versus simply punishing them • Aggressively: Action before thinking, yelling and punishing them before you know why they are doing it. May result in students hating or fearing you. • Unresolved: May be a branch from the aggressive area and repeat. May be a branch from peacefully and the students begin to take advantage. Students may continue to clash over the issue all year.
Teaching with Love and Logic “As teachers, especially when disciplining students, an understanding of the student’s perception, as well as our own, will be vitally important to not only be effective in our disciplining but to avoid the pitfalls of power struggles, passive-resistive behavior, and perpetuation of the offending perception.” (Fay and Frank, pg. 74)
Importance with Adolescents • Peer Pressure • Class clown, the need to fit in, gain acceptance from peers, attention • Outside events • May be sports, family, gangs, economic status • Teacher – Teacher connection • May cause a student to student argument, which leads to a teacher to student argument and then no one is learning
Turning Points 2000 “Middle grades schools have found that peer mediation and conflict resolution programs are effective in defusing conflicts between students and in teaching anger management and communication skills” (Jackson and Davis, pg. 177)
Coordination with other Professionals Third party teacher/team members Be a mediator, help cool the situation down Brings in additional insight Brings in additional ways to resolve the argument Additional problems may be resolved in coordinating teacher’s class as well. Administrator Is a neutral party, focuses on what is best for the student, may side with the teacher Should be talked to at the same time as parents, with constant reports until that point Outside groups Community (coaches): Get coaches for the student, talk to students after school program leaders Law enforcement: help guide the student away from gangs
Advisory as a means to Address the Issue Teacher explains • Teacher explains to the class their reasons and point of view for the argument. May help resolve the conflict Conflict resolution • Teacher gives a lesson on proper and professional ways to deal with argument with an adult and peers • Set a system in place to help the students and teacher not lash out at one another. Set procedures. Re/build the relationships • All student relationships may be strained from the argument; teacher will need to bring back or create a relationship with the students again • Have guidelines for the student so they may talk to the teacher rather than have a full argument.
Adolescents at School “One of the most consistent findings in psychological research with youth is the importance of caring, trusting relationships with adults. Such a relationship with even one adult has been demonstrated to give children and youth the resilience to cope with some of the difficult experiences they might face growing up. And, as decades of adolescent development research has demonstrated, adolescents need adult role models to help them envision their futures, a central aspect of the identity development process.” (Sadowski, pg. 124)
Teachers Role 1. Know when it is appropriate to get an administrator or a parent to talk about the situation 2. Admit when they are wrong 3.Be respectful to the students 4. Keep the parents informed over the whole process, as well as any other professionals in the adolescents life 5. Modeling Take time to assess the situation Take ownership Be calm, collective Proper conflict resolution Make sure the students see or know about the resolution/compromise
Teaching with Love and Logic “One of my questions was, ‘What kind of teachers do you like?’ Their answer surprised me. They said, ‘We like teachers who try to understand us and give us help when we ask for it.’ That’s all they were asking for. Somebody who knew and responded to them as people, cared about them, and treated them with respect.” (Fay and Funk, pg. 347) “Treat kids with dignity and talk to them in the language of respect, the same way we would talk to a best friend.” (Fay and Funk, pg. 347)
Importance to Adolescents If the parent/caregiver does not agree with the teacher Student is only going to get negative reinforcement, gives more reason to not participate/care for the class Student may lose respect for the teacher (seeing parent walk all over the teacher) (if the parent is abusive) If the parent/caregiver does agree with the teacher Easier work environment/communication between the parent and teacher More likely to enforce at home Student is more likely to comply and do better in the class If the parent/caregiver is uninvolved in the students life May mean the student does not have support at home, leading to the student not doing well with school work There will be no way for the parent to help the teacher, may result in a delayed conflict resolution
Turning Points 2000 “ If they perceive different expectations for their schoolwork between home and school, or if they perceive a lack of respect between the two, the result is a stressful sense of divided loyalty” (Jackson and Davis, pg. 204).
Coordination with other Professionals Team members/third party teacher • Be a mediator, help cool the situation down • Help support the teacher (second point of view, give ideas how to fix it) • Drawback: parent may feel overwhelmed Administrator • Teacher support, focuses on the students interests as well • Helps come up with a resolution to the situation • Helps both sides not feel overwhelmed with each other Outside groups • Community: Church, coaches, any adults the student has a relationship with • Help support the teacher, similar goals as administrator • Drawback: May back fire and support the parent completely, not professionals in education, may have negative ways of dealing with the situation
Parent Involvement “Identify a family-school liaison who actively works to engage parents” (Pate and Andrews)
Advisory as a means to Address the Issue Teacher explains Teacher may apologize or explain why they had an argument with a parent Conflict resolution Teacher gives a lesson on proper and professional ways to deal with arguments Shows how to use a third-party/mediator Rebuild the relationships The teacher must rebuild the relationship with the student and the parent because of how much the teacher-parent-student relationship impacts the student (all are connected)
Teacher Role • Teachers role/modeling • Keep a positive relationship with the parents from day one and keep them involved and informed on the student • Act respectfully • Know when they are wrong • NO ARGUING IN FRONT OF THE STUDENT • Follow through on their part of conflict resolution • Be calm, collective, understanding • Proper conflict resolution (Middle ground)
Partnerships at the Middle Level “T12 (teacher 12), who taught at River when it was a junior high school, perceives that the transition to a middle school resulted in more personal relations between the teachers and the families. In establishing a relatinoship with the families, T12 perceives that teachers not only can help the child, but also the family” (Musser, pg. 201)
Resources Fay, J., & Funk, D. (1995). Teaching with Love & Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom. Colorado : The Love and Logic Press Inc. Jackson, A. W., & Davis, G. A. (2000). Turning points: Educating adolescents in the 21st century. New York: Teachers College Press Musser, P. (1998, January 1). Partnerships at the Middle Level: Perceptions of Family Members, Community Members, and Teachers. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.. National Middle School Association/Association of Middle Level Education (2010). This We Believe: Keys to education Young Adolescents. OH: NMSA Staff Pate, P. E., & Andrews, P. G. (2006). Research summary: Parent involvement. Retrieved 09Oct2011 from http://www.nmsa.org/ResearchSummaries/ParentInvolvement/tabid/274/Defailt/aspx Sadowski, M. (2008). Adolescents at School: Perspectives on Youth, Identity, and Education (2nd ed.). Massachusetts: Harvard Education Press Cambridge. Shulkind, S., & Foote, J. (2009). Creating a Culture of Connectedness through Middle School Advisory Programs. Middle School Journal, 41(1), 20-27. Retrieved 09 Oct 2011 from EBSCOhost.