School Principal Video: Educational Requirements for a Career in School Administration
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School Principal Video: Educational Requirements for a Career in School Administration Transcript
The vital efforts of teachers in the classroom are complemented by those of principals, curriculum coordinators and other members of the school administration. Education opportunities for those interested in principalships and other positions of education leadership and supervision are diverse and plentiful. These programs can be found online and at colleges, universities and community schools throughout the nation.
Principals and administrators oversee primary and secondary schools across the United States. The influence these professionals have upon school operations cannot be overemphasized. Principals, often with the assistance, of vice principals, establish and enforce policies on matters ranging from student dress codes to grading procedures. They help to determine curriculum for respective grade levels and make purchasing decisions. Principals are also responsible for hiring and supervising teachers, counselors, librarians and other support staff. In this role, they must institute effective staff development opportunities to support education goals. Benchmarks for success are often based on state and federal standardized tests. In public schools, student scores on these examinations often directly affect how principals and schools are evaluated. As a result, administrators in education are often under a lot of pressure and required to put in long hours.
Most school administrators have spent time as teachers in the classroom. To become licensed, educators typically complete a bachelor's degree from a teacher education program at a four-year college or university. These programs include courses in education philosophy and pedagogy as well as instruction in subjects like math, music, art, literature and the sciences. Though administrators often begin their careers as teachers, they usually have training beyond that of their classroom colleagues. This training is often in the form of a master's or doctorate degree in education administration or educational leadership. These degree programs are available online and at colleges, universities and community schools throughout the nation. Administrators may also undergo training on the job under the supervision of senior school staff (such as in the case of vice principals serving under principals).
Job prospects for principals and other school administrators are quite favorable, particularly in the South and the West. An increase in students is creating this demand, though a high turnover rate for administrative positions is also a contributing factor. A sweeping national trend increasingly ties administrators' performance to student achievement on state and federal proficiency exams. This high-stress situation is exacerbated by increased responsibilities for administrators and limited financial resources. Teacher shortages, overcrowded classrooms and safety concerns are additional concerns administrators must manage. For those who are able to handle the pressures of school administration positions, professionals can expect compensation that is significantly higher than that of classroom colleagues.
Next to the home, children spend more time at school than any other place. It's up to school administrators to ensure the learning environment is a safe and supportive place where students receive effective instruction. While difficulties in administration positions can be many, these education professionals enjoy richly rewarding experiences as positive role models for children.
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