Strategies for Working with and Among Difficult People

Strategies for Working with and Among Difficult People Book

(148 pages available)

I am truly thankful for what I have and do not have along with understanding what is important. In the opening of this manuscript, I am deeply grateful to God, who has been more than just good to me. I am grateful for the talent, abilities, education, and certifications I have been blessed to receive that have placed me in the position to help others. Each night on my knees as I whisper the Lord’s Prayer, I pray for my family, friends, and enemies. Throughout my leadership positions, I have sometimes encountered individuals who thought I may have wronged them or I was a snake or a difficult individual and to them I sincerely apologize because it was not personal. Instead, my efforts and actions were all about the scholars having what they needed, preparing them for their respective future along with working with parents, and successfully moving our schools forward.

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The 7 Keys to Success

(105 pages available)

Most urban school environments deal with a myriad of challenges and issues such as neighborhood conflicts, harassment, bullying, intimidation, sexual orientation, fighting, homeless students, students moving four or five times within a school year, and foster parents enrolling three or four different kids into school within the same calendar year. Common discipline issues include dress code violation, tardiness, class cutting, marijuana (being under the influence or having intent to sell), bringing backpack(s) of items to sell on campus, and insubordination, just to name a few. There are academic issues such as students being overage for grade, students with IEPs, high failure and ultimately high retention rates, and high teenage pregnancy.

Most recently, social media issues have plagued the educational environment in a negative way with concern over cell phones, which bring problems of their own. These include pornography on cell phones, cheating with cell phones, and students calling people to the school on their cell phones to settle problems, not to mention social media messes involving Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (to put it mildly) that permeate our building and result in conflicts and fights. This social media epidemic is threatening to ruin a generation of our students.

No one outside of the educational community cares about those conflicts and challenges; most feel that if high school principals are making six-figure salaries, they just want results, no excuses, which some in the educational circles frame to our teachers as, “No excuses, but results.” Educating our students is a high-stakes business. Accountability for this task is at an all-time high. Principals are losing their jobs. We must increase graduation rates and increase test scores.

Our job as urban school principals is very complex. A plethora of negative issues with teachers, parents, alumni, and community activists can keep you off track of doing the most important task, educating students. I have always said urban principals are only two or three bad news stories away from losing our jobs if the poor test scores don’t get us first. To meet the responsibilities of this weighty position, principals need all the help they can get from as many resources as possible. This book offers practical, proven advice based on on-the-job experience that will help any urban school principal prepare for the tasks that lie ahead.