What does a Principal do?
|Citation||Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org|
Elementary, middle, and high school principals work year round in private and public schools managing school operations and day to day school activities. They oversee school staff and teachers, coordinate curriculum, and provide students with a safe and productive environment to learn.
Principals also counsel students, set up academic goals, and implement standards and programs set by the school district, state, and/or federal regulations. Elementary, middle, and high school principals serve as the public face of their school.
How to Become a Principal
An elementary, middle, and high school principal must earn a Masters degree in educational administration or leadership. However, prior to starting a graduate degree program most have several years of work experience as a teacher and have a bachelor’s degree in education, school counseling, or a related field.
The master’s degree programs prepare one to work with parents and the community, manage teachers and staff, set goals, and prepare and manage budgets. Most states require public school principals to be licensed as school administrators and although requirements vary by state, most require a master’s degree and usually require a principal to pass a background check and pass an exam. An exception would be principals working in private schools. It is not mandated that they have a state-issued license, though some still do.
Job Description of a Principal
Elementary, middle, and high school principals manage all school operations and activities. They oversee teachers and other staff and class schedules. They implement curriculum standards set by the school district, state, and/or federal regulations. They ensure the teachers have the necessary resources and equipment to reach the school’s academic goals.
The principal counsels and disciplines students or may assist teachers in managing students behavior. They meet with parents and teachers to discuss the student’s behavior and progress. In addition they address and resolve concerns of parents and community members when possible. He or she organizes professional development programs and workshops for staff and observe teachers and classroom activities.
A principal has the responsibility of managing the school’s budget, ordering school supplies, and arranging maintenance schedules. They must ensure proper school security and procedures for teachers, students, staff, and visitors. Principals are the public face of the school, they must meet with superintendents, legislators, and community members to explain or request school funding.