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Working With and Evaluating Difficult School Employees

Working With and Evaluating Difficult School Employees

January 2010 | 136 pages | Corwin
Managing difficult employees is one of the most challenging aspects of a headteacher's job. Working With and Evaluating Difficult School Employees is designed to help educational leaders learn and apply specific techniques and strategies for effectively dealing with difficult school employees.

Drawing on their extensive experiences in working productively with marginal, deficient, and downright difficult school employees, John F. Eller and Sheila Eller provide essential information and proven strategies to help administrators improve their leadership skills and competencies in dealing with employees who may have negative attitudes, display a lack of awareness about their behaviour, blame others for problems, or are marginal performers.

This resource opens each chapter with an overview of the content, offers a summary with questions for reflection, and presents easy-to-understand concepts, actual stories and vignettes, and abundant templates, bullet points, and key points throughout. A ready reference that allows readers to go to the specific section that meets their immediate needs, the book outlines:

- The nature of difficult employees

- Skills and tools for confronting the behaviours of difficult employees and achieving successful results

- Self-protection techniques for handling emotionally-draining encounters while staying on track with an improvement agenda

- Specific strategies for working with teachers, paraprofessionals and teaching assistants, administrative assistants and office staff, and custodians.

About the Authors
1. The Nature of Difficult/Marginal Employees: Why Don't These People Listen to Reason and Improve?
Frames of Reference

Characteristics of Difficult Employees

The Response to Change

Understanding the Source of the Difficulty


2. What Skills and Tools Do I Need in Order to Take On This Situation?
Background of Employee Discipline

A Competencies-Based Approach to Thinking About Employee Problems

The Definition of Success When Working With Difficult or Deficient Employees

Your Readiness in Dealing With a Difficult Situation or Person

The Use of Job Descriptions in Your Work With Difficult School Employees


3. Strategies for Confronting Marginal and Deficient Behaviors

Authority Voice


4. Protecting Yourself While Dealing With Difficult Employees


Displacing Negative Energy

Additional Self-Protection Strategies


5. Strategies for Working With Difficult/Marginal Teachers
The Law and Teacher Employment

Your Master Contract or Master Agreement

Understanding Your Evaluation Criteria

The Ability to Describe Deficient or Substandard Work

Base and Surface Competancies

Deciding Whether to Move Forward to Terminate Employment or Develop a Growth Plan

Growth Plans

Delivering a Deficiency Notice or Termination Message to a Teacher

The Entire Cycle


6. Strategies for Working with Difficult/Marginal Secretaries and Office
Handling Your Administrative Assistants

A Basic Set of Administrative Assistant/Office Employee Tasks

Base and Surface Competancies

Prioritizing Work Tasks

Planning Sessions to Establish Priorities for the Work Completion

Growth Plans

Delivering a Deficiency Notice or Termination Message to an Administrative Assistant


7. Strategies for Working with Difficult/Marginal Paraprofessionals and Teaching Assistants
The Nature of Teaching Assistants and Paraprofessionals

Base and Surface Competancies

Growth Plans

Delivering a Performance Concern or Termination Message to a Paraprofessional or Teaching Assistant

An Example of a Meeting and Letter of Reprimand for a Paraprofessional


8. Strategies for Working with Difficult/Marginal Custodians
Possible Difficult Custodial Behaviors

Effective Delegation of Tasks and Assignments

Base and Surface Competancies

Growth Plans

Delivering a Performance or Skill Deficit Concern to a Custodial Employee



“The Ellers have done an excellent job identifying supervision problems that plague administrators on a daily basis. They provide clear and detailed strategies to address personnel problems covering virtually every employment group. I strongly recommend this book as a quick reference for all school administrators as they deal with difficult employees.”

Dan Hoverman, Superintendent
Mounds View Public Schools, Shoreview, MN

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412958684
ISBN: 9781412958677

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