Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School Career Video
Description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the academic, administrative, or auxiliary activities of public or private elementary or secondary level schools.
Principals have a challenging leadership position; not only do they oversee the work of all teachers in a school, they also have a critical responsibility to students, parents, community members, and government policymakers. Elementary, middle, and high school principals manage all school operations, including daily school activities, building maintenance, and food service. It’s their duty to provide a safe and productive learning environment and see that their school meets performance standards. Principals set academic goals and ensure that teachers have the equipment and resources to meet them. The duties of principals vary; in small schools or districts, principals take on all leadership roles, while in larger settings, they have help from other staff coordinating teacher assignments and schedules, hiring, and professional development for teaching staff. Many schools have assistant principals, who may handle aspects of school leadership such as student safety, academic counseling, or enforcing disciplinary and attendance rules. They may also coordinate buses or supervise building and grounds maintenance. Principals work in public and private elementary, middle, and high schools. Most principals work full time, year round, and may work evenings and weekends at school functions or meetings with parents and community members. For most positions, principals need a master’s degree in education administration or leadership and several years of teaching experience.