Communication difficulties and interpersonal tension among adults can impede a school's ability to meet student needs. Though administrators are often able to manage conflicts that arise in their buildings, sometimes it's necessary to have help. For 25 years, educators have called upon SMA mediators for assistance. Here are just a few examples:
- Tension between classroom teachers and "specialists" over the duty roster escalated to public tears and an intolerable climate in an elementary school
"I am convinced that SMA's assistance with our personnel problems was influential in moving our school towards an improved climate. The skill and sensitivity of the SMA mediators is to be commended, as is the ultimate professionalism they demonstrate in conducting business of a very delicate nature."
High School Principal
- A small administrative team needed help untangling a web of rumor and perceived slights that prevented them from working collaboratively
- A middle school administrator's handling of a student disciplinary matter outraged significant numbers of parents of color
- 120 African-American high school students went on strike to protest the perceived discriminatory treatment they received from cafeteria workers
- Philosophical differences and long-standing interpersonal tensions made it uncomfortable for a team of third grade teachers to come to work
- Bickering between two large groups of students of different races began to turn violent and spill over into the school day.
- A head teacher's leadership style led to divisiveness among instructors at a vocational technical high school
SMA mediators have been an essential ingredient in resolving these and other difficult issues. Mediation is a structured, confidential process whose goal is to help people in conflict understand one another and, if they desire, create an agreement that resolves the issues in dispute. Although there is no guarantee that mediation will be effective, our experience with a wide range of school-based disputes convinces us that when the parties choose to participate, the process is extremely beneficial.
SMA mediators and facilitators are dedicated to the highest standards of excellence. Please contact us if you would like more information. We would be happy to discuss our approach, our fee structure, and refer you to schools where we have made a difference.