How Do You Become an Elementary School Principal?


Quick Answer

To become an elementary school principal you must obtain a master's degree in education leadership or education management, several years of teaching experience, and school administration licensure. Principals must have excellent communication, leadership, decision-making, interpersonal and problem-solving skills to meet the demands of the job.

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Full Answer

Elementary school principals are the head of their schools and responsible for all aspects of its operation. Their duties include managing teachers, securing funding, developing and coordinating curricula, and interacting with the public, superintendent and legislators. They also must interact with students and parents and evaluate student progress.

To become an elementary school principal, you must first teach in the classroom for several years, which requires a bachelor's degree in any field, and a teaching credential, which requires passing a specialized test. To advance to administration, teachers must hold an advanced degree and become licensed in administration.

Experience teaching in the classroom is critical to becoming a principal to understand daily school operation. Teachers also should seek out leadership positions on committees in their school to build the skills needed to be an effective principal. Some teachers first obtain assistant principal positions before being promoted to principal. Networking with school administrators is beneficial, since there is intense competition for principal positions.

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