Episode 16: When Your Children Attend The School That You Lead


Being the Principal/Parent Strategies For Success:


Ask yourself the question, “What does my child need?”

  • Academic support?
  • Space?
  • Resilience?


When dealing with a teacher, assume best intentions.

  • Most teachers aren’t INTENTIONALLY looking for ways to make the Principal’s kid miserable.


Remember that there are two sides to the story (your child’s side and the teacher’s side)

  • 1st Grade teacher: “I promise to believe half of what she says happens in your house if you promise to believe half of what she says happens in my classroom”.
  • I have used that with my teachers ever since.


Whenever possible, have your spouse or partner be your child’s advocate at school.

  • One step removed


Always be clear with your teachers about which “hat” you are wearing in every conversation about your child.

  • Are you wearing your parent hat or your Principal hat?


Do the things that all the other parents do.

  • Register your child on time.
  • Candy bar fundraiser?
  • Permission slips for field trip


Make sure that you are advocating for ALL children, not just YOUR OWN children


Think of the most annoying things that your parents say and do.

  • Don’t say those things
  • Don’t do those things 


Being The Principal's Kid Strategies For Success:


Have a conversation

  • I love you
  • This is hard
  • Acknowledge the pressure, perceived favoritism, perceived influence, scrutiny EMPATHY


Discuss Ground Rules

  • Hugs in the hallway
  • Dad or “Mr. Minkus?”
  • Different for each of my daughters
  • I will always listen to you, but I am not going to fix everything


Acknowledge that you don’t know it all

  • Your child has a perspective of your school that you don’t


Remember that they are CHILDREN

  • I made the mistake of setting standards too high
  • They get days off too. Mental health day is OK
  • Pressure


Encourage Self-Advocacy


Being The Teacher Of The Principal's Kid Strategies For Success:


Decide what to do with what you observed AND/OR with what you learned from your child

  • Are you going to fight this battle now?
  • Are the kids safe?
  • Are the kids suffering?
  • If the answer is NO, then deal with it.
  • If the kids are safe and NOT suffering, you may want to deal with it after the school year ends.
  • It may inform future decisions on teacher placement 


Always reinforce with your children that the teacher is the leader in the classroom


If you discuss school issues with your spouse or partner, never do that in front of your children


Never criticize a teacher to your children

  • Venting, frustration, EMPATHY IS NOT AGREEMENT


Call to Action

  • If your children are in your school, listen to this episode with your spouse or partner and discuss it.


If you implement any of these strategies at your school, I would love to hear from you! Send me a quick note at [email protected] and tell me about it. I can answer your questions and I’m also good at giving pep talks when you get stuck!

CLICK HERE for a bunch of free resources, including Plug & Play PD's (video webinars with guided notes) for you to use with your teachers, Top Lists of Leadership Books, Productivity Books, TED Talks and much more!

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Music by Twisterium from Pixabay