Principals are responsible for leading elementary, middle and high schools. They are involved in leading their faculty members, developing the school, financial responsibility and looking after and inspiring their students. Countless professionals who thrive in the education sector will usually, one day, aspire to become a principal at their school of choice. However, like any other careers, there are certain pathways you must take in order to make it a possibility. For those of you wanting to become a principal, here’s a roadmap to get you from A to B.
The Right Education
Most principals started their careers as a teacher; to become a teacher, you must earn a Bachelor’s degree, which are the minimum educational requirements. Once you’ve graduated with your BA, though, you can continue and earn a Master’s, and then even further your education with a PhD. Education is limitless.
Acquire the Correct Experience
You can have as many degrees as you want, but without the right experience, you won’t be able to become a licensed teacher and step foot into a classroom. Get the appropriate training, and then once you’re a certified teacher, use your teaching as training for being a principal. By being a teacher, you are learning the important skills of leadership, communication, motivation while also improving your own academia. It will also solidify whether you want to continue venturing towards the role of principal.
Teach in Many Subjects
Apply yourself and teach in more than one subject. If you’re a teacher in English Literature, see if you can also teach English Language; if you’re also an artist and have qualifications, then moonlight as an art teacher at your school. Of course, you’ll need degrees in these areas; however, if you have a hobby such as singing or guitar playing, then you could start your own music lessons. Remember, though, not to spread yourself too thinly; what you offer still needs to be of value.
Demonstrate Your Leadership Skills
As a principal, you will be expected to lead many different and varying groups of people. Your faculty members will need certain requirements, while your students will need your attention for different matters. Of course, on-the-job training is a great way to learn such skills, but gaining a higher education leadership graduate degree will make your endeavors far more fruitful. Your job is to be well articulate and confident in your abilities; you will be the spearhead of your school, so gain as many credentials as possible to prove your worth.
Communicate and Participate
Do not limit yourself to your school; instead, participate in events that also include the local community. Volunteer for activities, join committees and motivate those around you. When you put yourself forward for a principal position, you’re not only proving yourself to your fellow faculty but the parents of the students too. Therefore, communicate with as many parents as possible at all school and local events. Say ‘hello’ during Parents Evening, try to engage with the parents of your students and show that you care, and if there’s a school event such as a musical, make an appearance.