Not everyone is meant to become a principal. A school principal’s day can be both stressful and long. You have to be organized, solve problems, manage people well, and be able to separate your personal life from your professional life.  You will not last long as a principal in case you are unable to do these 4 things. It takes a remarkable person to deal with all the negatives that you have to deal with as a school principal. You listen to constant complaints from teachers, parents and students. You have to deal with all kinds of discipline issues. You attend virtually every extra-curricular activity. It is your job to make them better or get rid of them in case you have an ineffective teacher in your building. It is ultimately a reflection on you if your test scores are low. So why would someone want to become a principal? For those that are equipped to handle the day to day stresses, the challenge of running and maintaining a school can be rewarding. There is also an upgrade in pay which is a bonus. You have a greater impact on the school as a whole – that is the most rewarding aspect.

How to become a school principal

You are the leader. As the leader, your daily decisions impact a larger number of students and teachers than you impacted as a classroom teacher. A principal who understands this reaps their rewards through daily growth and improvements from their students and teachers. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree – You must earn a four year bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. It does not have to be an education degree as most states have an alternative certification program in some cases. Obtain a Teaching License/Certification. Most of the states require you to get certified once you have earned a bachelor’s degree in education. By taking and passing a test or series of tests in your area of specialization this is typically done. Check your states’ alternative certification requirements to obtain your teaching license/certification in case you do not have a degree in education. Gain Experience as a Classroom Teacher – Most states require you to teach a certain number of years before you are able to become a school principal. Because most people need classroom experience to have an understanding of what goes on in a school on a day to day basis this is extremely important. It will be easier for teachers to relate to you and understand where you are coming from if you have classroom experience because they know you have been one of them in addition to this. Gain Leadership Experience – Throughout your time as a classroom teacher, look for opportunities to sit on and/or chair committees. Visit with your building principal and let them know that you are interested in becoming a principal. Earn a Master’s Degree   there are states that allow you to become a principal with a combination of any master’s degree, the required teaching experience, along with passing the license/certification process although most principals will earn a Master’s degree in an area such as educational leadership.