Denyse Whelan ladies and gentlemen is one of those people we need to sit and take notice of. She is a blogger, an educator and an consultant. Having worked in schools for 40 years you could say she knows a little something about something.

Jokes aside, I am very happy to have Denyse guest posting on Mum’s Word because she has the sort of knowledge that I want. If you want to know what Denyse knows, then follow her on Twitter @denwise1

Yep. all those official Degrees and Certificates belong to Denyse. Makes her a smart lady.

Recently, chatting on Twitter, which is very rare often for me, I found Maria’s Mum’s Word.

Wow. Impressive. YES.

I enjoyed your writing and thoughts, Maria, and so when I offered a guest post as my former role as The School Principal, you said YES.

Then I froze had bloggers’ block.

Where would I even start on this?

What if Oh, just start…so here I am…

Happy Denyse Whelan
Happy Denyse Whelan!

The School Principal’s Secrets*

by me, Denyse, a retired Primary School Principal in New South Wales Public Schools. WHAT A MOUTHFUL.

1. Secret OneAs the School Principal,

you  must never ever let any parent see you have alone time, or are just hanging out in the staffroom. This is sending a message that the job is so cushy, anyone could do it. Therefore, you must always appear rushed, harrassed, and oh, yes, carrying large folders as you wend your way around the school.

2. Secret Two. As the School Principal,

you must always be the first to arrive at school, that is before the bell to go into school. And, of course, the last to leave, once the classrooms are empty of kids. The teachers know how to close up the school, keep security informed of intruders, and how to answer the 1000 phonecalls which come throught to them from your office re-direct.

3. Secret Three. As the School Principal,

you should always be the one to greet new students and their families, by appearing to already know them and call them by their wrong names. This  is because they are NOT the new family from yesterday, they are today’s new family. Oh.

4. Secret Four. As the School Principal,

you would expect that teachers would keep the peace under all conditions – be it an accident to a student  in the playground, a tree fallen over via the sudden wind gusts that the Weather Bureau had warned you about, and the fact that there is a chemical leak funny smell coming from under the building where the Science staff teach. And that you could keep looking busy working, umm, reading the paper in your office.

5. Secret Five. As the School Principal,

you now have time to read that newspaper, from the front to the back. In fact, grab a cuppa and close the door. This is signals gives the impression of very confidential meetings. Well, it is, to a certain extent..It is the Daily T, and it has a few pages called Confidential.

The LAST secret…is the biggest one of all………………………………….

Pig's Motto: Never say never.


  • At 2011.08.25 20:36, Denyse Whelan said:

    Thanks Maria, such a kind person to take on The School Principal, and publish…Much respect & appreciation. Denyse.

    • At 2011.08.25 20:40, Enzo said:

      Great post! More guest posts!

      • At 2011.08.25 21:15, Grace said:

        Lol ! Very cute !
        Looking back, my favourite school principle did tend to always “appear to be busy.” But he was such a lovable character.
        Thanks Denyse for sharing your “secrets” 🙂

        • At 2011.08.26 13:29, Denyse Whelan said:

          Thank you 🙂 A Principal I worked with as a Deputy Principal…always “looked” occupied too…..out on the footpath, having a smoke once smoking got banned in schools.

        • At 2011.08.25 21:16, Penny: Sshh Mummys on the Phone said:

          Love it. One of my school principals was so influential in our lives. He was very forward thinking. He knew Burnam Burnam and brought him to speak to the school about Aboriginal culture – in the 80s – when it wasn’t really spoken about. I remember it being such an amazing moment. I’m sure you provided many amazing moments too (in between reading the paper 😉

          • At 2011.08.26 13:30, Denyse Whelan said:

            What a great way to go…Principal…great that he was so influential and forward thinking too. LOOK how that person has impacted upon you.
            My moments have been interesting..and amazing too, as when radio station 2WS (back then) broadcast from the school where I was principal.
            Good times.

          • At 2011.08.28 16:59, MummyK said:

            How awesome is this post?! Denyse should def share more trade secrets! Like how parents can deal with principals and teachers! You are a great source of wisdom and info for mummy bloggers!

            • At 2011.08.31 00:07, Denyse Whelan said:

              Thanks mummyk… Maybe a cool idea… I’m up for it. Any old time….Happy to discuss! D

            • At 2011.08.30 12:16, Deb said:

              My husband is a Principal, yesterday he added something to the list – the Principal is the one who gets to go into the classroom to check if the student has a *real* gun.
              It wasn’t, I still called him an idiot.

              • At 2011.08.31 00:10, Denyse Whelan said:

                Oh. And I get that too. I was the principal who had to clean a disgusting mess in the toilets…… Because “it wasn’t anyone’s responsibility….” no on-site cleaners, general assistant ….. Cannot ever be said that I didn’t wear my responsibility hat ( and gloves on this occasion!)

                • At 2011.09.02 23:22, Lisa Lintern said:

                  Denyse – is that your personal brand busting out? I love this post. You just rescued a very boring Friday night for me. I met my son’s new principal today…and she was the first to greet us! I feel so informed now…;). Great post lady. xoxo

                  • At 2011.10.05 01:24, Denyse Whelan said:

                    Thank you Lisa! Only took me a month to re-read this blog post of mine when I came back to write on Maria’s recent DPCon post.
                    “my personal brand busting out” yep. Guess it is!!!
                    Denyse x

                    (Required, will not be published)