If teachers are the heart of our educational system, administrators are the organizational heads. School administrators are important for establishing policies and procedures, setting goals and missions, and creating an overall standard of education for their district. They oversee staff and teachers, address issues and problems, and serve as the public relations face of the schools in a given area.
Administrators can be found at every level of education, fulfilling a broad range of roles. From school principals to program directors to superintendents and members of the school board, administrators are what keeps the district running. Explore the importance of school administrators, and the responsibilities and qualifications it takes to enter this rewarding and challenging field.
The Job of a School Administrator
The exact job duties of a school administrator depends largely on the type of administrator. You may serve as an assistant principal or principal in an elementary, middle or high school, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization. You could work in student affairs or admissions at a higher education facility. You might serve as the director of a school athletics program, or on a school board.
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The things that administrators have in common, however, is that they are detail oriented but at the same time can take a big picture approach to the needs of education. They assist students and lend support to teachers. They meet with parents and set policies, procedures, goals and missions for the institute.
This job requires compassion, dedication, and a deep knowledge of best practices in teaching and education as well as management, leadership, and planning skills. The majority of school administrators have many years of experience as well as postgraduate education.
Responsibilities and Requirements
On any given day, an administrator might evaluate teacher performance, create, evaluate and establish school budgets, track, file and maintain academic records, help staff, faculty and students, conduct performance assessments, oversee safety and security policies, and generally handle any personnel or policy issues. They must have compassion, excellent communications abilities, and be great planners.
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Planning, strategy and interpersonal meetings are part and parcel of the life of an administrator. You may need to address issues with problem students or learning disabilities, and work out interventions and goal plans for these students. You may have to work closely with parents and other administrators as well as educators to set goals and an overall vision for the district.
Becoming a School Administrator
If you intend to work in primary school, middle school or high school, you’ll need to first get certified as a teacher. Each state will have its own strictures and requirements for certification, but for the initial certification at minimum you’ll need a four-year degree from an accredited university, plus you’ll need to undergo background checks and complete a teaching internship as well as completing a test. You’ll need to build up experience teaching, and pursue a master’s degree or doctorate in order to function in administration.
If you think that becoming a school administrator is a job that you’d fit well, take the time to explore your state’s requirements and get started today!