All schools have administrative positions. Known as educational leaders, these individuals are most often called upon to oversee the daily operations of schools and school districts. In addition to operations tasks, many of these administrators are expected to lead the curricular goals for a school, evaluate the effectiveness of the faculty and staff and handle disciplinary issues with regard to student behavior. There are a number of different positions that focus on different tasks as discussed below.
According to the Princeton Review, the administrator of a particular school campus is typically referred to as a Principal. This individual is responsible for all daily happenings on their campus. These individuals are often (depending upon the size of the school) assisted in their administrative tasks by an Assistant Principal. Not to be confused with a secretarial or bookkeeping staff, the Assistant Principal is also an administrative position that usually takes leadership of specific, delegated areas within the school such as but not limited to: Student discipline, teacher evaluation, financial or budgetary tasks, scheduling, student supervision in non-instructional areas, etc. Another administrative position found in larger schools is the Dean of Students. While defined differently from state-to-state and even district-to-district, the Dean of Students typically deals solely with student issues. They often handle discipline and supervision primarily.
School districts provide oversight, materials and governance for local campuses. The district will employ a number of people to oversee multiple departments depending upon the number of students served as well as the number of campuses. At the top of the administrative chain is a Superintendent, and often an Assistant Superintendent. These individuals oversee all the departments and campuses as an umbrella. All administrators in a district will report to these positions. In addition, many districts will also have a Director that oversees different speciality areas such as (but not limited to): Curriculum, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Technology, Human Resources, Facilities, Transportation, Federal Programs, etc. These Directors will oversee their respective specialities within the district and are often seasoned educators themselves. Some departments such as human resources and technology will have directors with experience and training outside of education.
Related Resource: Master’s in Educational Leadership
School administrators fall into the category of educational leaders. Educational leadership is a sub-category of education that has it’s own graduate programs and licensure requirements. Typically, the people that serve in these areas are veteran educators with a certain amount of experience as a classroom teacher. Many classroom teachers will opt to obtain a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, but maintain their classroom position. Educational leadership can benefit classroom educators simply by providing a more well rounded view of the educational system. Regardless of aspirations at the moment, a degree in educational leadership can open many doors. There are many different administrative positions available. Often, those looking to enter into school administration will need to relocate to find the job that best fits their skill set however. For those willing to relocate, there are many opportunities and possibilities.