How Did You Solve Conflicts at School?


Principal is sad after having a conflict

Conflicts break out everywhere. And it happens quite often at schools. Whether we talk about a conflict of two students, or a conflict between a teacher and a student, it’s not easy to solve it.

A good candidate for this job, however, should be able to deal with both situations efficiently. They will expect it from you in an interview.

Stay on the side of the truth

Children are very sensitive. If you punish someone for something he did not do, it will create problems for you. What more, if there’s a conflict and you decide it without thinking and talking to the conflicting parties, you can lose the trust of the students. It’s tough to gain it back once you lost it . . . .

That’s why you should always approach conflicts carefully, and individually. Try to listen to both parties and just then decide… Many assistant principals have the tendency to say that when solving conflicts, they will always stand on the side of a teacher. However, I would not suggest this answer. Teachers also make mistakes, they’re human.

Standard way of solving conflicts

Both students and teachers should know what to expect from you. That’s why you should have some standards, the way you punish people, the way you solve the conflicts. If you solved situation “A” in some way, you should solve the same situation in the same way all the time. You should be predictable.

Most importantly, do not forget that this is a behavioral question. You should speak about your past, not about “what you would do” in a conflict situation.

Try to think about conflicts you solved successfully in the past. You should prepare your answer in advance. If you want to gain some extra points, you can even speak about the conflict you failed to solve, emphasizing the lesson you learned in that situation and how it helped you to become a better teacher/assistant principal.

Do not forget on your own conflicts

Working as an assistant principal, or a teacher, you can also get involved in a conflict situation with a student, or with one of your colleagues. If you have this experience, feel free to talk about it in the interview.

To conclude it, you should always stress that you try to avoid conflicts. But when it happens, you look at it from all the perspectives and try to solve it fairly, and responsibly.

Special Tip: Did you like our analysis of this question? And what about multiple brilliant answers to all common assistant principal interview questions, as well as winning interview strategies? You will find them in our Assistant Principal Interview Guide. Thank you for checking it out!

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