Duties and responsibilities
A school principal is responsible for overseeing all the operations of the school. This includes coordinating curriculums, managing staff and ensuring the learning environment is kept safe for students. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Managing school activities
- Directing and overseeing staff, including teachers and support personnel
- Establishing and overseeing class schedules
- Developing, implementing, and maintaining curriculum standards
- Disciplining students
- Observing teachers and evaluate their performance
- Meeting with parents and teachers to discuss students’ progress and behavior
- Assessing and preparing reports on test scores and other student achievement data
- Organizing professional development programs and workshops for staff
- Managing the school’s budget
- Ordering school supplies
- Scheduling school maintenance
To become a principal, you will typically need a master’s degree in education leadership or education administration. These master’s degree programs teach prospective principals how to manage staff, create budgets, set goals, and work with parents and the community. To enter the master’s degree programs, candidates typically need a bachelor’s degree in education, school counseling, or a related field.
Skills and relevant work experience
To become a principal, you will need several years of teaching experience as a kindergarten, elementary, middle school or high school teacher. As well as this experience, school principals will need skills such as:
- Verbal communication skills as principals need to communicate with students, teachers and parents
- Empathy, as teaches must be able to listen to a the problems of teachers, parents and students and must be understanding
- Written communication skills, as principals will need to keep written reports up-t0-date
- Analytical skills, as principals need to analyse data in order to manage exam results and budgets
- Leadership skills, as principals must set goals and establish polices and procedures for the school. They must be able to motivate staff to achieve these goals
- Problem solving skills as principals need to be able to analyze the problems of teachers, students and/or parents to find appropriate solutions
Principals typically work full time. They may work evenings or weekends to meet with parents and other members of the community and to attend school functions, such as concerts and athletic events.
Typically, principals work year round and do not have summers off, even if students are not in school. During the summer, principals schedule building maintenance, order school supplies, and hire new teachers and other staff in preparation for the upcoming school year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for school principals in the United States is $96,400 per year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $63,070, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $148,630.
It is predicted that the employment of principals is expected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, which provides many exciting job opportunities in both local and private schools. With further training, principals can become superintendents or education administrators.