Communicating with parents is one of the most challenging and potentially stressful tasks that teachers face on a daily basis. Whether trying to resolve a heated argument or delivering bad news, it is essential to know how to handle difficult situations and establish positive relationships with your students’ parents. In this updated second edition of the bestselling Dealing with Difficult Parents, award-winning educators Todd Whitaker and Douglas J. Fiore help you develop a repertoire of tools and skills for comfortable and effective interaction with parents.
The book’s features include:
- Tools to help you understand parents’ motivations and how to work with them rather than against them;
- Detailed scripts for dealing with even the most stubborn and volatile parents;
- New strategies for increasing parent involvement to foster student success;
- An all-new chapter on the role that social media can play in interacting with parents; and
- A new chapter on initiating contact with parents to build positive credibility.
This must-read book will equip you with the skills you need to expertly navigate even the most challenging encounters with parents, and walk away feeling that you have made a positive and meaningful impact.
Table of Contents
About the Authors
Introduction to the 2nd Edition
1. Dealing with Difficult Parents: An Overview
Part I: Today’s Parents
2. Who Are These Guys?: Describing Today’s Parents
3. What’s Wrong with These Parents Anyway?
Part II: Communicating with Parents
4. Building Credibility: Everyone Wants to Associate with a Winner
5. Taking Your Classroom Social
6. Positive Communication with Parents: An Ounce of Prevention
7. Listen, Learn, and Cultivate
Part III: Soothing the Savage Beast
8. Initiating Contact with Parents
9. Never Let ‘Em See You Sweat
10. What If The Parent Is Right?
11. The Best Way to Get In the Last Word…
12. Do You Feel Defensive? If So, Something Is Wrong
Part IV: Dealing with Parents in Difficult Situations
13. Delivering Bad News
14. But I Did Get a Good Deal: Examining the Car Salesman
15. What If They Use the "F" Word – Fair?
16. Focus on the Future
Part V: Increasing Parental Involvement
17. Understanding Parent Involvement
18. Increasing Parental Involvement at School
19. Increasing Parent Involvement at Home
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.
"Dealing with Difficult Parents is the ultimate how-to guide for navigating the often rough seas of parental communication. Whitaker and Fiore not only provide real-world advice designed to proactively create positive teacher-parent relationships, but also offer powerful and specific strategies for remaining professional and effective even in the face of the most difficult circumstances teachers are likely to encounter."--Dave Burgess, President, Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. and New York Times bestselling author of Teach Like a PIRATE
"In this updated reboot, Whitaker and Fiore provide both practical and relevant strategies for engaging and connecting with parents, even the most difficult! Today’s parents are different and the landscape continues to evolve, and because of that we need to constantly update our playbook. This book couldn’t come at a better time, and the ideas and principles can be enacted the very next day. The authors take a complex and often difficult topic and break it down into manageable chunks to ensure educators walk away with sage advice that is both proven and tried."--Dr. Justin Tarte, Director of Teaching and Learning,Union R-XI School District, Union, Missouri
"Often, teachers worry about how they will interact with students and overlook the fact that interacting with parents is a large part of the job, too. By reading this book, teachers will learn how to respond appropriately when speaking with parents. I especially enjoyed the chapter, 'What if the Parent is Right?'; it shows how teachers sometimes have to swallow their pride and move on. Learning how to deal with difficult parents is a very important tool in a teacher's toolbox, and Whitaker and Fiore really hit the nail on the head!" --Rebecca Thompson, 6th Grade Math Teacher and Department Chair, Tomahawk Creek Middle School, Midlothian, Virginia
"The most challenging part of every teacher's job just may be dealing with difficult parents, which is why every teacher new or veteran needs a copy of this book! Todd Whitaker has provided teachers with an essential resource once again! You'll find tips and solutions to handling those troublesome situations with confidence." --Kristin Wilson, 5th Grade Teacher, Grande Park Elementary, Plainfield, Illinois