A school secretary wears many hats but ultimately helps schools run efficiently by performing clerical and organizational tasks. They support the principal, staff, and other workers in the building along with parents and students. Larger schools often have more than one secretary. If you enjoy school atmospheres and want to support a schools’ mission, this may be the career for you!
How to Become a School Secretary
No formal education past high school is necessary to become a school secretary. Schools often look to hire someone with experience using computers and software programs such as Microsoft Office. Experience in a related field, like a receptionist or school volunteer can also help a person land a job as a school secretary. On-the-job training lasts for a few weeks or longer, depending on the job description.
Taking a CPR class can also be a nice added touch on an applicant’s resume. Community colleges and technical schools offer a variety of courses that can help supplement your work experience. Courses in computer applications and English are helpful.
School Secretary Job Description
A secretary is often the first person you meet when entering a school and, as a gatekeeper, watches everyone who comes in and out of the building. In essence, they are the face of the school. They welcome visitors, students, parents, and all who work in the building. They are multitaskers and do various duties, such as answering calls, making appointments, maintaining student records, and handling incoming and outgoing mail and faxes. They also prepare memos, invoices, reports, and emails.
A school secretary often schedules events and updates event calendars. Keeping the school’s websites current and exciting may be another aspect of a secretary’s. In addition to the other duties, which depend on the school’s size, they may arrange staff meetings, assist sick students in a calming manner, and connect with everyone from bus drivers, custodians, kitchen staff, librarians, parents, and teachers, and support staff.
Never underestimate the school secretary. They know everyone and are always aware of what is happening in the school. They know everything from bus schedules, before and after school programs, lunch schedules, and immunization information. A secretary is who a parent calls for appointments with the principal or teachers and they should be good communicators. They maintain records on students, keep confidences entrusted to them, and have tact, discretion, and diplomacy.
A good school secretary knows just about everyone by name and is encouraging, dependable, and calm in chaotic situations. They need excellent writing skills, good grammar, and attention to detail. They are skilled at working with teams and making decisions even in emergencies. They may even negotiate with vendors, oversee stockrooms, and provide basic bookkeeping. The school secretary believes in the vision for the school and works closely with the principal to ensure the institution runs smoothly. A loyal secretary is worth their weight in gold. School secretaries usually work full time during a typical school year with the same hours. They enjoy many benefits, including medical, paid time off, and other options like 403(b).