Help! I Didn’t Pick These People! Dealing with Difficult People

Session notes from “Help! I Didn’t Pick These People! Dealing with Difficult People,” presented by Stephanie Johnson and Diane Watkins.

What was the speaker’s main message?

There are characteristically difficult people you will deal with in your schools. You need to have a clear strategy for dealing with these people. You have to address difficult people with planned courageous conversations.

What was the speaker’s best quote?

“Choose the non-emotional response. Difficult people will change who you are if you are not careful.”

What were the top ideas from the session?

  • Work to have good relationships with people.
  • Acknowledge good work.
  • Clarify problems.
  • Remind of the importance of student safety and student learning.
  • Gather data on performance for yourself, give feedback, set goals, provide support, document conversations and follow-up.

What is one strategy that you will implement immediately?

Technology professional development (PD) is a great place to differentiate learning. When you differentiate your technology PD, each level of learner (novice, intermediate, expert) receives what they need.

What is one strategy that will help you with instructional leadership?

Try to figure out why some of your teachers are presented with low energy or burnt out. With the current teacher shortage, we cannot simply get rid of all of the difficult teachers, so we will have to help them to find their energy again.

What is one idea that you want to learn more about?  

The 10+2 rule about what to change in a school when you are new.

What are three resources you will check out?

The Missing Alphabet Book

I can’t wait to tell my teachers about this idea:

The presenter sang a “Good Morning” song and it set the tone for the PD beautifully.

Notes by Aqila Malpass, curriculum coordinator, Hoover City Schools in Hoover, Alabama.