1st Edition

A School Leader's Guide to Dealing with Difficult Parents

By Todd Whitaker, Douglas J. Fiore Copyright 2016
    78 Pages
    by Eye On Education

    80 Pages
    by Eye On Education

    This new supplement to the bestselling Dealing with Difficult Parents, 2nd Edition is designed to help you with the specific challenges you face as a school leader when dealing with parents. The main book, Dealing with Difficult Parents, 2nd Edition, shows how your teachers and other educators can communicate with parents more effectively. With this new supplement, you’ll learn how you, as a leader, can--and must--support and coach teachers along the way.

    Topics covered include how to…

    • Make sure your teachers understand the families they’re dealing with;

    • Help your teachers communicate effectively with parents by being positive and proactive, so problems don’t escalate to the main office;
    • Establish expectations for dealing with parents, so teachers understand how to be appropriate even when a parent is not;

    • Ensure your teachers feel supported by you when they’re dealing with difficult parents; and
    • Help teachers become more confident and empowered in challenging situations.

    With these practical books, you’ll be able to get parents on your side so they can become a positive force in your school’s success.


    Introduction: Why This Book?

    1. Understanding Is Not an Excuse

    2. Identify the Problem Before You Try To Solve It

    3. Supporting Your Staff

    4. Be Aware Of What You Don’t Know

    5. Dealing from the Role of the Leader

    6. The Principal Must Focus On the Future

    7. Always Show Concern

    8. The Fairness Doctrine

    9. What If We Are Wrong?

    10. Build Relationships Before You Need Relationships

    Parting Thoughts



    Todd Whitaker is a professor of educational leadership at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. He is a leading presenter in the field of education and has written more than 30 books, including the national bestseller, What Great Teachers Do Differently.

    Douglas J. Fiore is Dean of the Dwight Schar College of Education at Ashland University and is author of numerous books, including the popular textbook School-Community Relations, Fourth Edition.

    "Want to make a difference with parents? In this book, Whitaker and Fiore provide examples to relevant issues that will help you guide your teachers through difficult situations. After reading this book, you will be equipped to identify problems and provide solutions that will benefit everyone involved. A School Leader’s Guide to Dealing with Difficult Parents will make your job easier!" -Spike C. Cook, Principal, Author, Co-host of the PrincipalPLN Podcast

    "Todd Whitaker’s practical and easy-to-implement advice has served as guidance for me throughout my 18 years as a public school administrator. In this book he and Douglas Fiore provide outstanding strategies to help principals empower teachers to have the confidence they need to deal with the most challenging parents. In today’s educational environment where partnering with parents is crucial to the success of students and schools, I highly recommend this book to all building-level leaders." --Rob Moorhead, Superintendent, South Ripley Community School Corporation

    "Todd Whitaker and Douglas Fiore provide a practical and positive framework that builds trust and enhances communication with parents in a way that supports and empowers teachers. This book offers insights and strategies that will benefit all school leaders from the first-year administrator to the veteran principal in any school setting. A School Leader’s Guide to Dealing with Difficult Parents is a guide for turning parents into partners." --Jayne Ellspermann, Principal of West Port High School and President-Elect of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)

    "Building and protecting the partnership with parents and teachers is one of the most important jobs principals have. Whitaker and Fiore provide practical, real advice for diverse groups of parents and circumstances." --Derek McCoy, Principal, West Rowan Middle School, Salisbury, North Carolina and 2014 National Digital Principal

    "The really important thing this book does is that it engenders confidence in tackling a range of situations and that is vital." - Sarah Brew, Parents in Touch