Conflict in Schools - Principals and Teachers
When you hear of conflict within schools, you usually think of conflict
between the principal and students or parents. The conflict that results
between the principal and teachers is often one that is not common
knowledge. Without proper conflict resolution the result is that the
staff room becomes a very uncomfortable place.
Reasons for Principal and Teacher Conflict
Conflict between teachers and the principal arise for various reasons,
With school closures and the tightening of the system, new staff moves
into a school that often don’t agree with the way the principal does
Older staff members are resentful of a young principal.
Staff members reassigned from other schools may be resentful.
New programs in schools are often the cause of a lot of tension as
teachers with 20 or more years experience do not adapt well to change.
They are often reluctant to start teaching in a different way.
Some examples of this include:
Whole language programs
Teaching according to expectations, rather than covering a specific
textbook from cover to cover.
Problems from the top down...
When a principal is used to running the school a certain way the school
board hires a new superintendent, things are likely to change. The
superintendent puts pressure on the principal to change the way things
work in the school. These changes create conflict among teachers who are
not willing to change. The result could be that the school board
officials come into the school to try to resolve the problems. This only
creates more conflict.
Conflict within schools often results in distrust of the system, with
teachers blaming the principal and vice versa. Team building is the first
step to resolving the conflict. It is essential that the focus of your
school is on its main goal of education. Determine your strengths and
needs and work to develop a new aura of trust, with effective and
efficient communication among all members of the staff.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelly Graves is the founder and CEO of Internal Solutions Consulting. ISC
specializes in organizational conflict resolution. With over 85 years of
combined experience in organizational conflict resolution, Internal
Solutions is able to quickly address conflicts within an organization to
facilitate a more successful, productive and profitable communication
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