People become teachers for all kinds of reasons. They may love education. They may want to fill a missing need within their own community. They may find the work rewarding. Each of these reasons are common to most educators and inspires some to pursue a greater level of impact through school administration. If you are looking to advance your career in education, an educational administrator is an excellent position to strive for.
What is an education administrator compared with the role of a teacher? An education administrator is a person who wants to continue their passion for education through a leadership role, such as a school principal or superintendent. Since one of the requirements is teacher licensure or teaching credentials, administrators already have the background of education and school district experience to lead faculty to competently implement day-to-day functions while pursuing innovation and growth for both students and staff.1
Education administrators are present within schools but are no longer considered teachers. So, exactly what does an education administrator do? Among the core responsibilities this role maintains can be:
- Managing school budgets and allocating funds accordingly
- Coordinating all administrative and operational processes and procedures
- Creating and implementing school policies
- Resolving inter-school conflicts pertaining to students, faculty, or both
School administrators are involved in nearly every aspect of school operations and student affairs to ensure teachers have the resources they need, students feel safe and secure, and board members and parents are kept up-to-date with changes within the district. This role of a school leader requires a certain level of expertise, experience, and personal resolve in order to balance and manage all expectations.
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Necessary Credentials for an Education Administrator
In the same manner as a teacher fulfilling the teacher intern requirements, there are specific requirements issued on a state-level of what’s needed before someone can become a school administrator. In California, it requires teaching credentials or the approved equivalent as approved by the California Commission of Teacher Credentialing and classroom experience as an educator.
Education administration also calls for the completion of an Administrative Services Credential program and coinciding three cycles as implemented by the California Administrator Performance Assessment. Each of these steps build upon a person's ability to educate and lead effectively and with integrity.3
Required Leadership Skills and Abilities
In addition to what's mandatory from an educational and credentialed standpoint, prospective school administrators may benefit from having an innate drive to create and uphold a thriving school environment. Part of the education administrator job description requires knowledge of a variety of roles that allow a school system to run efficiently, which involves a keen eye for detail and a highly organizational mindset. It's also necessary for educational leaders to have the ability to communicate well and practice sound judgment when dealing with unique and oftentimes, difficult situations so some of them may have a doctorate in educational psychology.
In addition to the learning that goes on within the classrooms, the role of a school administrator must also be concerned about creating a safe place for students to excel. This includes taking into account societal challenges, understanding the difference in student demographics and capabilities, and other outlier events and information that calls for a customized approach to securing a structural foundation.4
Degree Programs in Educational Administration
Educators with teacher licensure who wish to transform their roles into a leadership and management position can enroll in our credentialed online Administrative Services program, Master of Arts in Education, or EdD in Educational Leadership and Management, which coincide with the educational guidelines set out by the CalAPA.
Completion of any of the above programs involves coursework and practical training to prepare for a role in educational administration. These teachings and hands-on experiences come with the mentoring support to complete the programs and school administrator requirements as outlined by the state of California. Educator preparation requires focus and dedication for each part of the educator role, in addition to all of the complexities that are added on as an administrator.
Pursuing a Career in School Administration
Are you considering becoming a school administrator? Every educator knows how profound the experience can be when guiding a student through learning and growing as they pursue their own dreams. What does an education administrator do? He or she takes this teaching experience and helps to create space for growth and innovation to further help teachers fulfill these pursuits with the right resources, budgets, and policies that can guide a school year successfully.
Many look at teaching as less of a job and more of a calling for what they are meant to do and this can be achieved in a variety of ways. Taking into account the school level, subject(s) taught, and special education needs of students all make up the specific route an educator will take. A person who is ready to pursue an educational administrator and a school leader role has already had teaching experience identifying where they can make the most significant impact. This will serve as a guiding light as they continue pursuing their pathway into a management position where they can spearhead change for the future.
- Ahmed, S Tahsin. “The Role of Administrators in Educational Institutions.” Deccan Herald. DH News Service. Accessed November 23, 2021. https://www.deccanherald.com/supplements/dh-education/the-role-of-admin…;
- “Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals : Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed November 23, 2021. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/elementary-middle-and-high-school-pr…;
- “The California Teaching and Certification Resource.” Teacher Certification Degrees. Accessed November 23, 2021. https://www.teachercertificationdegrees.com/certification/california/.&…;
- “School/District Administrators.” National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE). Accessed November 23, 2021. https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/training-technical-assistance/rol…;