Education is a profession filled with tension. Pressures to help students achieve their potential come from all directions: political, parents, students, teachers, administrators, interpersonal, and intra-personal. The tensions experienced can result in two distinct paths. The first path may take teachers and administrators toward feelings of bewilderment, exhaustion, frustration, and ultimately burnout. The second path can result in rejuvenation. When on this path, tension can serve as a catalyst for change, improved communication, and improved student engagement and achievement. Coping with Tensions: A Catalyst for Transformative Change for Teachers and Administrators explores why some teachers, school leaders, and school organizations walk the path of bewilderment and disillusionment, while others choose the path of engagement.
Chelsea Faase teaches in the leadership, literacy, and social foundations department at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She has been in education for the last 14 years, having taught previously at both the elementary and middle school levels.
Sheila Kohl is currently a STEM teacher for grades 5 and 6. Previously she taught middle school science and was an adjunct professor.
Jason Lau has been a school administrator for 20 years. He has served as a Director of Special Education/Students Services, elementary principal, and a principal of a project-based charter school.
Chapter 1. Tensions in Schools
Chapter 2. Finding the Joy in Our Tensions
Chapter 3. When Organizational Tensions Affect Culture
Chapter 4. What We Wish Administrators Knew
Chapter 5.What We Wish Teachers Knew
Chapter 6. How Do We Take Care of Each Other?
Chapter 7. The Path of Enlightenment
Chapter 8. Now What?
List of Tables
About the Authors
Bringing together the stories of teachers and administrators, the authors of Coping with Tensions clearly articulate the external and internal forces that impact the work of educators as well as how to handle them quickly. The thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter illuminate the care and dedication that the authors have in addressing the realities of those in education and the ways in which empowerment and liberation occurs. This book will transform any teacher or administrator that finds themselves in the “traffic circle” of the profession.
Conversation and communication are the most human things we do. It’s the most humanizing thing we do and this book nails it. This text does not simply offer communication as a panacea. These wise and experienced educators offer research-based, transformative, and much needed conversational micro-skills to help every educator and administrator understand and apply the types of conflict-resolving communicative choices necessary for catalyzing the very change our schools, our kids and their futures, and thus our world, deserve.
Tension is inevitable and assails those in the education profession from every angle. In this book, Dr. Lau, Dr. Kohl, and Dr. Faase have crafted a perfect blend of captivating anecdotes, competing perspectives, practical strategies, and research on tensions in the educational workplace. The organizational structure and reader-friendly format will allow educators to ponder tensions faced, lessons learned, and the potential for joy in the process.
Teachers teach because they love to teach. But with the joy of teaching and changing lives comes a myriad of minefields that create tension. Using personal voices and narratives of educators, Coping With Tensions: A Catalyst for Transformative Change for Teachers and Administrators delves into the integrity of the field of education. Readers will dissect root causes of tensions in education, lay open our truths, share understandings, and increase ways for moving beyond the tensions and spend more time in the joy.