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Classroom Management: Teaching at Your Child’s School

Janelle Cox

You have just been presented with the opportunity to teach at the same school your child attends. Is working in the same place as your child a good idea? Before you make a decision that can change your career, arm yourself with the classroom management knowledge that is necessary to ensure that there won’t be any conflicts.

Like any new endeavor, there are pros and cons to this situation. Younger children may not have the same issues that older children may have. It all comes down to the child, his behavior, and how he reacts to the situation. Here we will take a look at the positives of teaching at the same school your child attends, and learn what pitfalls to avoid.

The Pros

  • You do not have to pay for before- or after-school daycare.
  • There are no travel hassles.
  • Your child is on the same schedule as you are.
  • You’re the first to know if your child is sick or hurt.
  • You get to see your child throughout the day.
  • You don’t miss out on any parties, performances, or award ceremonies.
  • It’s easy to consult with the teacher to find out about assignments, behavior, etc.
  • You get to know your child’s classmates.

The chance to work at the same school as your child might be an opportunity you want to pursue. If you’re sick of paying for childcare or your child is young and has separation anxiety, it could work out very well for both of you.

The Cons

  • Staff and students may treat your child differently.
  • It can be hard to transition from being a parent to being a teacher.
  • Your child may think she can get away with anything.
  • It might be be hard to separate the personal from the professional.
  • You could get too involved, and your child may not get the space he needs.
  • Your child may be uncomfortable with your presence.

If your child is in elementary school, they may love the idea of seeing you every day. If your child is a teenager, they may be less than thrilled about your presence at the same school.

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Teenagers thrive at being independent and the daily presence of their parent may negatively impact their autonomy. Likewise, when their friends find out that you are teaching in the same school, they might start teasing your child.

Classroom Management: Tips for a Successful Transition

For some educators, the initial transition of teaching at the same school your child attends can be a difficult one. However, there are ways that you can balance being a parent and a teacher at the same time. Here are a few tips for a successful transition.

  • Keep your role as teacher and parent separate. If you want to discuss your child with his teacher, do it before or after school, like all of the other parents.
  • Set rules and boundaries with your child. Encourage her to treat you like every other teacher in the building. Set restrictions, like not being able to come to your class until school is out, or not jumping out of line when she sees you.
  • Make sure your kid’s teacher knows your child should be treated equally. Some teachers may feel uncomfortable punishing a coworker’s child, but ensure them that your child is no different than the others.
  • Do not make any special exceptions. Send in field trip money in a sealed envelope, and sign parental forms as if your child was in another school. Do not let your child become dependent on you just because you are in the same building.
  • Set limits and restrictions with your child’s teacher. As a co-worker, you may find it difficult to set limits, but it’s important for your child’s well-being and education. You can even go as far as telling the teacher to contact your spouse if she has any concerns.
  • Avoid talking about students and staff at home. Children can be very observant, so be aware of your conversations at home that refer to your child’s peers and teachers. There’s a chance your child can overhear something, and that’s how rumors get spread.

Consider these pros and cons before accepting a job at your child school. If the pros outweigh the cons then you know the job is right for you.

Would you teach at your child’s school? What if you had to teach your own child? Feel free to share your response in the comment section below. We would love to hear your thoughts.

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators