Have you been eyeing a school principal position? Let’s discuss how to work towards a school administration position.
Rather than making a bold career move into school administration, you may wish to take smaller steps to ease into a new role as an education leader. A more prudent strategy is to take on increasing responsibilities and school administration functions so that you can slowly evolve into a management position, should one become available. There are many key areas you can focus on how to improve the attractiveness of your candidacy.
Steps to Work Towards a School Administration Role
Develop Business and Leadership Skills
Schools require a broad range of administrative skills. Demand is high for business managers with experience in financial planning, cost-cutting, and restructuring. An obvious task for a business manager, such as renegotiating insurance contracts, has loosened funds and allowed previously discontinued programs to be renewed. Many schools are grappling with budgets that are already running over school board limits while school boards are further cutting expense limits.
Improve Student Performance
Student achievement is a key focus for administrative positions. How can you help raise student performance in state rankings? A good place to start is your classroom. Demonstrate that you can motivate your students to higher performance levels and then develop this competency throughout the school.
Volunteer for Administrative Positions
Volunteering on committees is a good way to become more involved in your school’s administration. As schools face deepening budget cuts, more of these opportunities are available at the school and district levels.
Pursue School Administration Education
Consider pursuing part-time graduate courses in educational administration or educational leadership. Some related education is expected for most administrative positions. If you have a master’s in another area, complementary courses and volunteer committee experience can put you on the right path to an administrative position without returning to school.
Prepare to be Adaptable and Flexible
Many schools are not replacing administrative positions but instead are restructuring to compensate for the lost position. This often means that the new administrative position you are applying for is a combination of two or three jobs that existed in last year’s budget. The ability to show that you can add value in the areas of cost-cutting, operational efficiency, and student achievement will help get your resume noticed and, hopefully, land you an interview. With administrative offices restructuring to improve efficiencies, do your research and be aware of the competencies and functions that have been compromised.
Look for Educational Leadership Jobs Internationally
School administration skills, experience, and education are in high demand in international markets. As a result of the phenomenal growth in demand for teachers in developing markets, many schools are trying to manage unwieldy operations in the face of unprecedented growth. Many ESL schools in China, for example, have grown from dozens to thousands of students over the course of a few months. These schools are often run either by teachers or business people; many require professional education administrators to help them manage and prepare for future growth.
Are you contemplating a move into administration? Do you have some other suggestions of how one might make the transition?
If you need help preparing for educational leadership job interview questions, look at A+ Principals’ Interview Edge. In today’s competitive marketplace, you need to be fully prepared, and nothing will have you more prepared to ace an interview than knowing the questions in advance!