Books

How to Deal with Teachers Who Are Angry, Troubled, Exhausted, or Just Plain Confused

Reviewed by Lylia King

Principal, Cleburne Intermediate School, Cleburne, Texas

What a perfect tool for school principals. How to Deal with Teachers Who Are Angry, Troubled, Exhausted, or Just Plain Confused is one of those books you will refer to again and again. 

Author Elaine K. McEwan, an educational consultant, has worked as a teacher, librarian, principal and assistant superintendent for instruction in a suburban Chicago school district. 

In her latest work, she provides practical advice with examples of helpful scripts that can be used immediately. While school principals will benefit the most from this book, anyone who works in a leadership capacity in a school system can find useful sections in this text. 

The author’s goal in writing this research-based book is to maximize student learning and achievement. She provides specifics on using assertive interventions with difficult teachers, 60 ways to inspire teachers to produce results, answers to principals’ questions about leading difficult teachers, case studies from experienced principals and quotations from leadership gurus. The book is divided into seven chapters plus two resource sections. 

Reading this book allowed me to breathe a little easier because it reinforced the fact that all principals have to deal with difficult teachers, and ready solutions exist for most of the problems. By incorporating some proven techniques, school leaders should be able to improve school culture and student achievement. 

(How to Deal With Teachers Who Are Angry, Troubled, Exhausted, or Just Plain Confused by Elaine K. McEwan, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2005, 253 pp. with index, $29.95 softcover)