In every profession, a certain percentage of workers always want to advance from the ranks of employees to the upper reaches of management.
They are usually the ones who want more authority, more responsibility, more say in how the business operates, and, of course, more money.
The world of education is no exception. Many teachers, after years of experience, decide they would like to have more of a role in how a school or a school district operates. Getting out of the classroom becomes a priority.
It can be done, but it requires the cultivation of certain skills as well as the attainment of higher degrees.
Skills Required for Education Leadership
Many of the skills that make a good teacher – communication, good listening, breaking down complex topics into digestible bites – are also useful for an administrator.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), important qualities for administrators include:
- Communication. Administrators need to have the ability to properly articulate the needs and the goals of a school or school district. They also must be able to interact well with staff.
- Critical-thinking. With the amount of testing conducted in schools these days, principals need the ability to analyze data and develop plans based on what the data tells them about what students need and where there are areas of improvement for the school.
- Decision-making skills. Because they often have to make decisions on complex issues quickly, school administrators must have the ability to digest and understand information quickly.
- Leadership. Being in charge of a school or school district is an extremely difficult job involving many different issues – curriculum, student discipline, parent’s issues, teacher assignments, just to name a few factors. Administrators must have the ability to set educational goals and then convince teachers and other members of the administration to work toward those goals.
Education Needed for School Administrators
The first step to becoming a successful school administrator involves getting a few years of teaching under your belt. Becoming a teacher typically involves getting a bachelor’s degree in education.
If you’ve decided to move in to the ranks of the administration, you’ll want to look into entering a master’s program. Many school administrators are experienced former teachers who earned master’s degrees in educational leadership or educational administration.
In addition to the skills mentioned above, administrators have to be trained in areas such as overseeing teachers and other school staff, managing budgets, setting goals, prioritizing areas of need, and learning skills to deal with parents and the community.
Earning a master’s degree is just the beginning. Those who want to be administrators then have to get a license to be a school administrator in the state within which they work. Each state has different requirements, but most call for school administrators to have a master’s degree and training. Some states also have a test that must be passed.
Diane Pierre-Louis writes about masters in education degree programs and teaching careers for US News University Directory. For more information please visit http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com
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