A 4-year-old boy visits a school one morning with his father for admission. He has his interview scheduled with the principal and so, with fear in his eyes, he enters the office clinging to his father’s arm. The principal recognizes the fear and talks to the child graciously. He looks into the child’s eyes, recognizes the dreams and makes the boy comfortable. He also explains to him how good school can be and how much fun it is to learn new things and make new friends. The child becomes happy, gives a good interview and gets through. However, the next day when he comes for his first day to the same school with his father, he cries. The principal goes to him once again, holds his hand and whispers, “I will be your father till you reach home, come with me.” The boy stops crying, holds his hand and walks inside. Touching, isn’t it? This is how a principal’s role in a student’s life unfolds. If you are keen on doing the same, try becoming a principal. A principal’s role is different from a teacher’s essentially because he is the supreme authority of the school in matters of discipline more than studies. Hence, it requires immense patience and right amounts of sternness and pleasantness to be an efficient principal. To learn more on how to become a school principal, read on.
Becoming A School Principal
Candidates aspiring for a principal’s job must have a Bachelor’s degree and a significant number of years of teaching experience to their credit. Although a graduate degree from a reputed college is all it takes, a Master's degree in education administration or educational leadership from an accredited college or university can add stars to your profile. All the degree programs that are designed for a principal include coursework in finance, human resources, leadership, curriculum planning and law so as to handle the various responsibilities well including hiring teachers, dealing with student issues and drafting budgets etc.
Leadership skills are very important to command the staff and students alike.
Patience is another important skill required as this profile deals with younger generation and hence has to face the generation gap every day.
Multi-tasking and authoritativeness are must to keep general administration of the school and students’ education on track.
As a principal, you should also hire personnel who are capable and deserving and groom them as time passes by.
With the increased importance of standardized test results, principals are held accountable for running a school that is proficient or above and continually improving. This clearly shows that as a principal, you are accountable for the overall performance of the institution.
Strong communication skills are essential for an effective principal.
When working to improve and reform the school, the principal must have the support of the entire staff and hence a pleasing personality is also a must for this profile.
Roles And Responsibilities
A principal is always held responsible for the discipline in his/her organization. The principal's office is the last place most students would want to enter. This is because the principal’s main responsibility is to ensure discipline in the school. The principal sets the tone for his/her school and forms an important component of the staff morale – how well the teachers get along with each other and how they view themselves as professional educators depends a lot, if not entirely, on the school’s principal. S/he also sets policies, makes decisions and allocates funds and can be an innovator in forming alliances between the school and businesses within the community. Developing the interests of the pupils is also an important aspect of a principal's work.
Principals manage the day-to-day activities in schools and provide instructional leadership in preschools, elementary schools and secondary schools. They set educational standards and goals and establish policies and procedures. Experienced principals sometimes become principals of larger schools and even colleges. Others may become school district superintendents or presidents and deans of larger educational institutions. An education administration degree opens a wide array of career opportunities for students. Seeing the career growth prospects and compensation plans, a principal’s degree has the same potential as other high paying jobs.
If you wish to spend your life providing well thought-out education to children, then teaching is the field you need to be in. Hope this article on how to become a school principal has been though provoking.