The primary focus of a principal’s job is to manage their school. This involves working with the teachers and support personnel as well as interacting with the students. Principals are responsible for everything in their school, from the budget to the student body’s academic performance. They are expected to evaluate the teachers they supervise as well as provide them with guidance on how to handle students. Their role with respect to the students is to administer discipline and to provide counsel. Principals have academic responsibilities as well, such as the preparation of reports on test scores and other methods of evaluating student performance.
Principals are expected to have excellent communication skills since a part of their job is to serve as their schools’ representatives in the community. For example, their job may require them to meet with legislators and community leaders in the effort to get resources for their schools. They may meet with parents as well in order to discuss a child’s progress.
In order to become a principal it is usually necessary for an individual to have a master’s degree in education administration or education leadership; most states and most schools require this post-graduate degree. The degree programs can provide them with the skills to run an elementary, middle or high school effectively.
Licenses are another of the essential credentials for those who wish to work in public schools; however, private school principals are not required to have a license issued by their state.
About the Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership
The subject areas they will learn about include:
• Public school finance
• Instructional leadership
• Legal issues in education
This degree is geared towards licensed teachers who already have a bachelor’s degree and experience in the teaching profession. The experience requirement is usually at least one year. Some colleges offer the master’s degree in educational leadership degree course online which allows teachers to pursue it on their own time.
Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership Concentrations
Students pursing the degree have the option of focusing their studies on a number of specific areas. These can enable them to run certain types of schools effectively. Examples include:
• K-12 Literacy
This concentration is for those educators who wish to learn more about the importance of reading and writing. They will learn how to develop literacy programs and to assess the skills of their students.
• Early Education
Educators can gain an understanding of the educational needs of young children and get the skills to help them to learn. This concentration’s focus is on how children learn by themselves and in groups.
• Special Education (a special education teacher-certificate may be required)
Here students learn how to administer programs for learners with special needs. They will acquire the skills to educate and integrate those with disabilities.
• Charter School Leadership
This concentration helps teachers to learn how to create and sustain charter schools along with the methods of providing effective charter school education.
• Dual language
With this concentration, educators are prepared to manage students who are learning new languages. The graduate is provided with the skills and knowledge to help their students to acquire new languages while still developing proficiency in their original language.