If you are passionate about impacting the lives of young ones, a career in education might be a great fit for you. One fulfilling job as an educator is to be a school administrator. You have direct contact with students and parents and play a huge role in their success while you lead a team of teaching and administrative staff.
A school administrator works as non-teaching staff and manages the school’s facilities, faculties, staff, budgets, and day-to-day operations. They’re also in charge of developing educational programs and implementing the curriculum. From time to time, school administrators also counsel students and resolve conflicts that may arise. It is a demanding but fulfilling career that many educators aspire to have. If you can picture a future in school administration, here are the steps you have to take to become one:
Step 1 – Get a Bachelor’s Degree:
Usually, the pathway to becoming a school administrator is to become a teacher first. You could pursue a bachelor’s degree program in education. This is your starting point to become a school administrator. You must undergo 4-year training in a tertiary institution to complete this.
Why do you need to become a teacher first? Firstly, you get familiar with the nitty gritty of working in a school system. You also have the experience and expertise needed to manage students. To start as an elementary school teacher, you need to earn your bachelor’s degree. Let Kathleen Jasper help you ace all the exams you need to become a school administrator.
Different states have different requirements for becoming a school administrator. However, a bachelor’s degree is basic. Some states allow you to take bachelor programs in courses like psychology, human relations, and so on, or core subjects like Mathematics and English.
Step 2 – Earn A Teaching License:
After your 4-year course, you bag your bachelor’s degree and become qualified to get a teaching license. This allows you to work as a public school teacher. This step is as important as every other step you have taken in this cause because it is a major requirement in your state. Usually, you gain this licensure by filling out an exam that assesses your competence in your area of study. Some states also require that you proceed with your master’s program within a stipulated time for your licensure to remain valid. You may also be required to take some extra courses and gain experience.
Step 3 – Gain Enough Work Experience:
You need to work and gain experience before you can rise to the position of a school administrator. Starting as a teacher would help you know what a school system is like and how to manage students. As a school administrator, you would be responsible for overseeing students, faculty, and staff, and this might be a little overwhelming as a newbie. This is why you must gain experience by integrating yourself into the school system by working as a teacher.
Learn the role and function of every group in a school. Involve yourself in school activities enabling you to interact with students and their parents, such as meeting with the school board, updating the parent-teacher organization, and more. This would help you to get familiar and equip yourself with skills that you will find relevant in the future. This step might take you several years. The number of years of experience required varies from state to state, so take this step gracefully. Volunteer and take administrative positions as opportunities arise. Learn and enjoy every moment because you will find it useful in achieving your goal.
Step 4 – Get A Master’s Degree:
Most states require that you complete a master’s degree. The role of a school administrator is crucial, hence, the need for many levels of training. With your master’s program, you would have the framework for developing administrative skills. This degree might take about two years to complete, but it is definitely worth the time.
There are several specialized master’s degrees to choose from, and you get to pick based on your chosen focus. You can take a master’s degree in educational leadership, higher school administration, and educational technology, among countless others. Research the offerings in your local university to see your options. You can also ask for advice from the school administrators you know or work with, as they can give valuable insight into your career path.
Step 5 – Pursue An Administrator License:
You are now getting closer to your goal. The last step required by most states is to earn an administrator license. You may need to take tests so they can assess your knowledge in relevant topic areas like state laws, teacher training, and curriculum standards. You would sit for a licensing exam and may be required to work under the supervision of a mentor. Once you successfully get an administrator license, you can now work within your school system as an administrator.
Bonus Step — Find a Mentor
As previously mentioned, finding a mentor is a valuable step in becoming a great school administrator. They are in touch with the current education landscape and can give insight into the present state of the schools. They may also give you insight into new education trends and administration systems that may have not been covered by your formal education.
Education is an ever-evolving discipline, and what worked decades ago may not work for 21st-century learners. Even when you start working as a school administrator, it is beneficial to keep in touch with mentors and colleagues to keep your mind sharp and updated. You may also be encouraged to pursue research in this career. Let your passion and curiosity stay with you as you climb up the ranks of your career.
These steps might demand a lot, but it is worth the benefits and services of being a school administrator. Enroll in an institution to bag your bachelor’s degree. This will help you to get the teaching licensure from your state. Gain relevant experience and exposure to the school system as you work for many years, building a strong foundation for your career as a school administrator.