The principal of the school ranks highest as an administrator in high school, middle or elementary school. Principals of the school report directly to the superintendent of the school, but in the case of larger school districts they may report to associate superintendent. In few school districts principal and superintendent is acted by a single person only.
These days principals play many roles like instructional leader, school manager and also the leader of school reform.
Responsibilities of Principal Today
The overall operation of the schools is performed and supervised by the principal of the school. School and state districts have set expectations from the principal via their principal evaluation process and criteria. But, later on schools started participating more in state and national assessments and suddenly the responsibilities and the duties of the principal changed. It became a part of the principal’s duty to involve them more in the learning and teaching part in their schools. Hence, the duty of monitoring instruction raised and also their responsibilities increased for helping the teachers in improving their teaching.
First and Foremost an Instructional Leader
Due to such changes in duties, principals found the desire to evaluate instructions more effectively and also help teachers as they worked in improving their instructional methods. In few states the duty of the principal for improving instructional program of the school is mandated by legislation. And some legislation requires the removal of principals when schools performance was not found to be improving.
Increase in Staff and Parent Involvement
Hence with the increased pressure of improving the learning and teaching, the responsibilities and duties of the principal changed with the time. Principals found that involving the staff of the school to make decisions resulted in better commitments to school reform initiatives. It is a principal’s duty to oversee school interactions with the parents and others in the community of the school. It also involves working with parents when there is some issue related to discipline. There is also additional interaction with parents that serve on parent/teacher organizations, school advisory boards and with booster clubs. Now principals require spending more time with parents of the students.
The Question of Qualifications
A license is necessary for the ones who seek the employment as a principal. These requirements may differ in each state, but usually the requirements include graduation from a state accredited principal preparation program, experience as a teacher, and also a passing score in validated licensure exam on national level. But the qualification of the principal is still the subject of debate to make schools more accessible for the success of the students.
Related Article – Dare to be Different, Dare to be a Principal