ASSIGNMENT 1: CONFLICT MANAGEMENT
Conflict in educational settings can take many forms: student-to-student, parent-to-teacher,teacher-to-teacher, teacher-to-administrator, parent-to-administrator, athlete-to-coach;coach-to-athletic director, professor-to-student services professional and so on. As aneducational leader, you will want to ensure that you are both comfortable with managing conflictand competent in how to effectively manage any conflicts that may arise,
1. After completing the required reading and watching the mini-lecture on ConflictManagement, write 2-4 well developed paragraphs reflecting on your thoughts/reactions to the topic. Some questions to consider in your reflection include:
1. How do you feel about managing conflict? Note any apprehensions thatyou may have, their root and how you plan to overcome them?
2. As a new leaders, who would you go to for assistance in managingconflict in your desired educational setting?
3. Of the approaches to conflict management identified in Chapter 5 ofGorton & Alston (2022), which do you feel are the most effective? Why?
2. Cite evidence from the course readings in APA format and/ or other scholarlyevidence to support your arguments.
ASSIGNMENT 2: Faculty Dissatisfaction and Low Morale
"It is understandable that an administrator should wish to avoid conflict, especially if aparticular conflict could be disruptive. By trying to avoid all conflict, however, anadministrator could be ignoring or suppressing significant problems or issues that needto be aired if they are to be ameliorated or resolved" (Gorton & Alston, 2012, p. 129).
-sample APA citation format-
You have learned about sources of conflict and approaches to managing conflict. Thisassignment gives you the opportunity to apply and demonstrate mastery of what youhave learned. The case study that you will examine for this assignment, illustrates ascenario which you may encounter in your career as an educational leader. While manyof you are not pursuing a leadership role in schools, reflect on how you might approach
a similar issue as a new leader coming into the institution, program or department thatyou anticipate leading.
Gorton, R. (2022). School Leadership and Administration: Important Concepts, CaseStudies, and Simulations (11th ed.). McGraw-Hill Higher Education (US).https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/books/9781266172724
1. Read the case study Faculty Dissatisfaction and Low Morale found on page301 of Gorton & Alston (2022).
2. Write a 3-5 page paper addressing the following:
1. Assume you are the leader of this institution, how will you approachthis situation?
3. Support your answer with evidence from the course reading or other scholarlysources. Be sure to cite and reference your sources in APA format.
26FACULTY DISSATISFACTION AND LOW MORALE
Entering the faculty workroom, Mary Beth Williams crossed the room to a table where Alice
Spencer was correcting papers, spread out before her in organized confusion.
“At it again, I see,” Mary Beth greeted the other teacher.
“It never ends, does it?” Alice responded. “And I have a meeting right after school,
besides. I hope I can finish these, because there’s another stack on my desk that I have to
take home tonight.”
“You’re on that lesson plan committee, aren’t you?” Mary Beth said, sitting down across
the table. “How’s that going?”
“About as well as you might expect. I mean, what good is this committee going to do
anyway? It’s the principal’s committee—he’s the one who thinks there needs to be a change
in the lesson plan format. As far as I can make out, none of the teachers see any need to
change it at all, except maybe Bill Challenge, who wants to eliminate lesson plans altogether.
You should have seen the principal’s face when Bill brought up that idea! Mr. Hizway has
previously been making this big statement about how the teachers on this committee need to
participate more and get involved, and how receptive he was to hearing our ideas on the
subject when Bill Challenge brings up this suggestion to eliminate lesson plans
completely—although I don’t think he meant to eliminate planning. I thought Mr. Hizway was
going to have a stroke. He got very red in the face and then quickly said that Bill’s ideas
weren’t worth discussing and immediately changed the subject.”
“You mean,” Mary Beth asked incredulously, “he just cut Bill off and didn’t even permit
discussion of the idea?”
“Exactly. Cut him off cold,” Alice replied, sorting through the papers to find her grade- book.
“How did Bill react?”
“He wasn’t happy about it, but when the principal cuts you off that way, it doesn’t do much
good to object.”
“I bet that didn’t help his problems any,” Mary Beth observed.
“Well, I don’t know if I should say anything, Alice. …”
Alice turned back to her gradebook, entering the scores from the papers. “It’s okay. I
“I don’t think it’s really confidential… . Bill’s wife and I are pretty good friends, and I know
she’s worried about him. Apparently he’s been under a lot of pressure this year. He has that
different teaching assignment that he was given, and it’s always hard to do one new
preparation, let alone your whole teaching load. And then he has more problem students
assigned to him this year. Bill has never had discipline problems before, but he really does
this year, and it bothers him a lot. His wife is concerned that he may also be going through a
midlife crisis, both personally and professionally. She didn’t elaborate on the personal bit, but
she has said that he’s expressed uncertainty as to whether he is even the same teacher he
once was and whether he has the same capabilities he once possessed.”
“Bill Challenge? Mary Beth, you can’t be serious. He’s always seemed to me to be an
excellent teacher, always so confident.”
“I guess he’s not feeling so confident these days.”
“Really!” Alice sat back, reflecting on Mary Beth’s disclosures. “You’d never know it from
his behavior on the lesson plan committee. He’s very outspoken at the meetings.”
“That may just be the pressure building up and then exploding,” Mary Beth speculated.
“Lord knows, there’s enough going on in this school to upset anybody! And Bill has always
been such a perfectionist.”
“I suppose that’s true. Serving on this committee for lesson plan revision has to be as
frustrating for him as it is for me. I mean, this committee is going nowhere. I’ve been here
eight years, and this is just like so many committees that I’ve served on at the district level:
the administrator already has his mind made up when he establishes the committee, so all he
really wants—at least this is how it seems—is for us to endorse his thinking, and then he can
say that he provided teacher involvement and input. Sometimes I feel like saying, ‘Just tell us
what you want, and we’ll say it, and then everybody can go home.’ What difference does it
make, anyway, what the teachers do on this lesson plan committee? The principal never even
does anything with the lesson plans. I can’t tell that substitute teachers use them very much,
and I don’t follow them all that strictly myself—not that I’m against planning, of course.”
“I know what you mean,” Mary Beth agreed. “Even if a committee comes up with some
good ideas, the administrator rejects them on the spot if they don’t agree with what he wants
to do. Or else we don’t ever hear any more about them. Doesn’t it seem sort of dumb for Mr.
Hizway to always be asking us for our ideas if his mind is already made up? Or if he’s going
to ignore our recommendations?”
Alice nodded. “Definitely. A lot of these committees and meetings, particularly faculty
meetings, are a waste of time. They hardly ever deal with teachers’ needs.”
“That’s for sure. You want more coffee, Alice?”
She shook her head, now engrossed with their discussion. “Mary Beth, I don’t know how
you feel about this, but I think a lot of teachers are getting fed up with their situation at this
school. Here we are, getting larger classes, being assigned to more committees, and always
being asked to do more with less. And yet, what appreciation do we get? Look at our salaries!
Compared with my expenses, I tell you, I’m going backward! And I don’t think most parents
really care any more about their kids or about teachers. I don’t see much appreciation from
the administration for the job we’re doing. It seems to me that, at best, we’re taken for granted
and, at worst, we’re being exploited!”
“Absolutely. The administration is more concerned with public relations and raising
students’ achievement test scores. I think a lot of teachers are just plain burned out. I know I
“Well, Mary Beth, burned out or not, I’ve got to get back to my room and put some things
on the board before next period begins. I’ve been working on these papers like mad, and I still
haven’t finished recording all the grades.”
“I’ve got to get back to my room too. I have a student coming in for some extra help before
Later that month the lesson plan committee presented its report to the faculty at an
after-school meeting. The principal explained the report, which proposed a more elaborate
lesson plan format, requiring more details of teacher planning. When he asked for reactions to
the proposed plan, no one responded. Waiting a moment or two for comments, the principal
finally indicated that the changes would go into effect the next fall.
During the summer, the principal of the school left for an administrative position in another
district. The new principal who was hired for the school had not previously worked in the
district, so she didn’t know too much about the students and faculty. She felt optimistic about
her new assignment and looked forward to the challenges and opportunities for leadership in
the school. She would be starting the next day, and she was to begin the morning with a
meeting with two of her teachers who had requested to see her: Mary Beth Williams and Alice
Spencer. With only three weeks before classes began, the principal was delighted to have an
opportunity to meet with some of her faculty.