You are here

From Difficult Teachers . . . to Dynamic Teams

From Difficult Teachers . . . to Dynamic Teams

Edited by:

October 2012 | 176 pages | Corwin
'This book reflects a true understanding of the different personalities administrators face and clearly outlines what each leader can do to establish a positive environment for their employees and students. This is one book no administrator should be without'—Patricia Bowman, Retired Principal, Los Angeles Unified School District, Adjunct Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

Unconstructive staff behaviours can disrupt a thriving school environment. School leaders need positive, generative communication strategies that can defuse negativity and inspire teachers to change their behaviour and become contributing members of the learning community.

From Difficult Teachers…to Dynamic Teamwork examines the underlying basis of problematic behaviours and provides proactive, proven strategies for building teamwork and a positive school culture. Leaders will discover strategies for enhancing their interpersonal skills, determining if their own behaviour is contributing to the problem, and encouraging behaviour change in teachers and staff. Based on interviews with more than 50 experienced principals, this valuable resource connects content to practice via:

- Key tools, practical resources, organizational charts, and behaviour assessment forms

- Sage advice and quotations from experienced educators

- Sample dialogues to help identify behaviour challenges

- "Take Action" sections for specific implementation strategies

Maximize the effectiveness of your staff by building a culture of shared leadership, collegiality, and teamwork.

About the Authors
Part I. Identification and Understanding
1. Understanding Difficult Teachers
Who Are They?

How Did They Get This Way?

What Do Difficult Teachers Want?

The Effects of Difficult Teachers

2. Difficult Teachers, Difficult Behaviors
Chronic Comnplainers

Negative Teachers

Inflexible Teachers







Selfish Teachers

Part II. Solutions and Strategies
3. Facilitating Behavior Change: Conversations, Warnings, and Improvement Plans
Before a Problem Occurs

How to Encourage Behavior Change

When Conversations Fail

4. Am I Contributing to the Problem?
Why Are Some Principals "Difficult"?

Could Your Behavior Be Considered Difficult?

Fertile Ground for Difficult Teachers

Gender-Related Differences in Difficult Behaviors

Strategies for Change

Part III. Prevention
5. Interpersonal Skills That Help
Listening to Understand

Speaking for Understanding

Body Language

Defusing Emotionally Charged Conversations

6. Creating a Culture of Teamwork
Building a Positive Culture

Focusing on Positive Teachers

Creating a Spirit of Teamwork

Rewarding Positive People


"This is one of the most interesting books I have read to date. This book absolutely fills a void in the field: how to recognize difficult behaviors in teachers and how to reshape their behaviors to help them improve their enjoyment of school and a school’s culture."

Nora G. Friedman, Principal
South Grove Elementary School, Syosset, NY

“This book reflects a true understanding of the different personalities principals and administrators face and clearly outlines what each leader can—and should—do to establish a positive, proactive environment for their employees and the students. This is one book no administrator should be without.”

Patricia Bowman, Retired Principal, Los Angeles Unified School District
Adjunct Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

"What do you do as a principal when you encounter difficult teachers? Brock and Grady deal with this problem head-on as they identify frequently troublesome behaviors, strategies that have proven successful in dealing with problems, and suggestions to help prevent these behaviors in the first place by building a positive culture of shared leadership and teamwork."

Ronald G. Joekel, Emeritus Executive Director, Phi Delta Kappa International
Emeritus Professor, University of Nebraska

"This should be required reading for all principals, aspiring principals, administrators, and teachers. As a principal of 28 years, I was able to identify all of the descriptors of how people function and how one could react to different styles of personal interaction. The content will resonate with principals irrespective of the type of school."

Jennifer Fraser, Principal
St Michael's Primary, Baulkham Hills, Australia

“Recently, a colleague and I attended a conference that required a lengthy drive. During the drive, I read this book out loud. We laughed, made jokes, complained, and agreed and disagreed with the authors. This entertaining book is a painless way to study a disagreeable topic. The guidance offered is easily applied to situations we face on a daily basis."

Kaye L. Peery, Superintendent
Zuni Public School District, NM

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


Barbara Louise Brock

Barbara L. Brock is a professor of education at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. She has held a variety of positions in education, including education department chair, director of school administration, elementary principal, and K-12 teacher. She presents nationally and internationally on topics of beginning teacher induction, leadership succession, teacher and principal burnout, and educators with disabilities. She is coauthor with Marilyn Grady of Principals in Transition: Tips for Surviving Succession, From First-Year to First-Rate: Principals Guiding New Teachers, Rekindling the Flame: Principals Combating Teacher Burnout,... More About Author

Marilyn L. Grady

Marilyn L. Grady, is professor of educational administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). She is the author or coauthor of 23 books, including From Difficult Teachers to Dynamic Teamwork (2009) with Brock, Getting it Right from the Start (2009) with Kostelnik From First Year to First Rate (2007) with Brock, 194 High-Impact Letters for Busy Principals (2006), 20 Biggest Mistakes Principals Make and How to Avoid Them (2004) and Launching Your First Principalship (2004) with Brock. Her research areas include leadership, the principalship, and superintendent-board relations. She has more than 175 publications to her credit. She... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412913478