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[PODCAST] Episode - Working with Today's Independent School Parents - Dr. Robert Evans and Dr. Michael Thompson
Adrian Pumphrey

In this episode, we discuss what is unique about independent school parents, and how we can best partner with parents to help students succeed in every way.

Hopes and Fears: Working with Today's Independent Schooll Parents' Description from
Too often, the standard ways of building parent cooperation no longer work well, and schools may inadvertently foster parent expectations that undermine an effective home-school partnership. Hopes and Fears offers a new approach.

Based on their decades of work with schools, psychologists Rob Evans and Michael Thompson bring insight and empathy to advice for teachers and administrators about strengthening parent relations. The book is divided into three sections:

Part 1: The Rising Tide of Anxiety examines factors that intensify the dilemmas families and schools face, from normal tensions to accelerating social, economic, and technological changes.

Part 2: Challenges illuminates why some parents act the way they do—and why the ways in which schools have traditionally dealt with them can be ineffective.

Part 3: Coping includes three nuts-and-bolts chapters for restructuring the partnership:
·      The Basic Toolkit offers advice on adopting the right mindset and skills to work constructively with the vast majority of parents.
·      The Advanced Toolkit provides tips for managing the small number of parents who are more challenging.
·      A guide for administrators covers practical ways to train and support teachers.

Robert Evans is a psychologist and school consultant. A former high school and pre-school teacher, and for many years a child and family therapist, he has consulted to more than 1,700 schools, public and private, throughout the U.S. and internationally, working with teachers, leaders, and boards.

Rob received his undergraduate degree from Princeton and his doctorate from Harvard. His particular interests are in leadership, in helping schools cope with change, in crisis intervention, and in improving collegiality and candor among educators.

He is the author of many articles and books. His newest, co-written with Michael Thompson, is Hopes and Fears: Working with Today's Independent School Parents. His others are: Seven Secrets of The Savvy School Leader, The Human Side of School Change, and Family Matters: How Schools Can Cope with The Crisis in Childrearing.

For nearly thirty-five years, I have worked as a clinical psychologist, school consultant and international speaker on the subjects of children, schools and parenting. I’ve authored nine books focusing on the emotional lives of boys, friendships and social cruelty in childhood, the impact of summer camp experiences on child development, the tensions that arise in the parent-teacher relationships, and psychological aspects of school leadership. My work with independent schools and public school districts throughout the United States, and with international schools in Europe, Asia and South America takes me to about fifty schools a year to lead workshops for teachers, administrators, parents and students.
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