You are a first-year teacher who is dreading an upcoming conference with the parents of one of your children, William. The last time you met with his parents, you brought up the fact that William needed to improve his social skills. You mentioned that he often teased and occasionally hit his classmates during playtime. The parents responded with raised voices and said that he is well-behaved at home and you should do a better job of disciplining him in the classroom—that was your job. You became defensive, and then the parents became defensive in turn, with everyone leaving the meeting in a huff. Your center director, having seen the parents storm out of the room, called you aside and asked you to reflect on how you might have handled the situation differently. She also suggested that you reflect on the idea of “hostility as a mask.” Next, she asked you to develop strategies for remaining calm and in control at your next meeting. She concluded by recommending that you make a self-improvement plan to address all three issues.
1. Create a plan for self-improvement in which you address behaving defensively with parents. Identify three questions that will help you reflect on your reaction and how you can handle similar situations better next time. Second, think deeply about the various dimensions of hostility, and write a paragraph in which you examine hostility from a psychological perspective. Last, write three strategies for remaining calm and professional when you are involved in potentially difficult conversations with parents in the future.
1. For each item in your self-improvement plan:
a. Explain how this item addresses the issues in the scenario.
2. Describe and justify how your self-improvement plan would improve teaching and learning in the scenario.