Power struggles are the worst. Students are disrespectful, entitled, obnoxious — and sometimes quite intimidating! The most effective way to defuse power struggles is simply to get rid of the perpetrator by sending him or her out of the room. Who needs a workshop to do that?

In truth, power struggles are extremely valuable events in the life of a classroom. They are (unconscious) attempts by students to get what they need (even if they think they don’t want what they need) from teachers who will neither cave to student demands nor squelch them. Resistance to learning (a passive form of power struggle) can be a sign of internal conflict, which a savvy teacher can help a student resolve. There is always a good reason for a power struggle!

This workshop examines the good reasons for power struggles and helps teachers explore ways to identify and respond appropriately to them, not just to release tension but to create optimal conditions for learning. The lens this workshop builds is one that allows teachers to see and appreciate the ingenious ways students simultaneously avoid growth and broadcast in no uncertain terms how much they need and want to grow. Using this lens can beget miracles.

Contact me to organize a workshop on Defusing Power Struggles.