When you enter the field of education, you might very well start off with the intention of working in a classroom with your very own class of students. While working in a traditional capacity, this is a great calling and one that services a much-needed purpose in society; there are various other options available to those working in education regarding career paths.
One of the choices you might want to consider as your career progresses is becoming a school principal or headteacher. This is considered to be one of the most challenging yet prestigious levels that an educator can reach in their career. The path to becoming a headteacher isn’t the shortest or easiest one that you will ever embark on.
If you aspire to one day become a school principal so that you can be able to effect positive change in the field of education, it is best to know precisely what you will need to accomplish day to day to reach your goals.
Here is a brief guide to the steps that you will need to follow if you would like to one day become a headteacher at a school.
The first thing that you will need to look into as you start your journey to becoming a school principal is the level of education that you will need to obtain. First and foremost, you will need to earn a degree in education so that you can start your career as a teacher. However, anyone looking to climb the ranks in education will need to earn a graduate degree in education.
The idea of earning a graduate degree while continuing to work is an intimidating one for many people. Education is far from the only field in which this is a necessary step in getting ahead. Many people who work in a variety of industries find themselves in a situation where they need to earn advanced degrees so that they can progress in their careers. Even though working while earning a degree is a difficult task, it is one that is certainly accomplishable if you put the right measures in place for yourself.
One thing that many people find helpful when they are working and earning a degree at the same time is to enroll in an online education program. You can earn your masters in education online without having to compromise in your current teaching position. In this way, you can find yourself earning the right level of education for your goals while also maintaining your job as an educator in the classroom.
Every school principal must first start off their career as a teacher working in a classroom. It is only by first obtaining valuable, practical experience in education that you can truly understand the challenges that students and educators alike face on a daily basis. The fact of the matter is that even though the field of education has come such a long way, it is still one that continues to evolve to meet the obstacles faced by learners today.
Moreover, understanding the challenges that educators face is one of the most important aspects of the job of a principal. Unless you have been a teacher yourself, you risk alienating yourself from the teachers that you have working for you.
You want your teachers to feel comfortable approaching you with their struggles and questions. While your first priority is the education and wellbeing of your students, you need to act as an advocate for your teachers as well to ensure that they have all of the resources and tools that they need to be so that they can be as effective as possible in the classroom.
The number of years that you spend working as a teacher before you seek to become a principal can vary from person to person. However, it should be known that the more teaching experience you have, the more likely it will be that you can become an effective principal. When you consider how much you learn in your first year of teaching alone, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that more experience will contribute to your ability to act as an effective principal down the line.
3. Professional Development
Those who hold the position of principal at a school are responsible for a great many things. Not only do you need to make the right decisions on a regular basis in regard to the management of your school, but you also need to act as a leader for your teachers and other staff. In order to do this to the best of your ability, you should consider participating in some professional development certifications.
The professional development courses that you take will need to be accredited by the right governing bodies so that you can ensure that you are giving yourself the best chances of equipping yourself with the right tools for the job. The Professional Qualification for Headship and the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership are both great options to consider for your professional development.
Another area in which you might want to consider obtaining more qualifications is that of safeguarding. When it comes to the safety and wellbeing of students, the principal is the first point of contact and the individual who carries the most responsibility. This is an incredibly important role that you will need to be prepared to assume. Learning how to work with Children’s Social Work Service is going to be an important part of your job, so the more information and the more prepared you can be for this part of being a principal, the better off you will be when you ultimately reach your goals.
Becoming a principal at a school is a difficult yet rewarding path to take in your career. In order to be the most effective principal that you can be one day, you will need to take the necessary steps to equip yourself for the right tools for the job.
Feature Image: Source