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Career Story: Assistant Principal In A Public School

Assistant Principal In A Public School

Job Title: Assistant Principal

Type of Company: I work for a school district in a suburb of Boston.

Education: BA, Elementary Education, UMass-Amherst •• M.Ed, Instructional Technology, Framingham State College

Previous Experience: I taught science for 14 years prior to becoming an administrator.

Job Tasks: As an assistant principal, I am responsible for a variety of tasks. I create all of the student and teacher schedules. I supervise approximately 20 teachers. In doing so, I am responsible for observing lessons and giving feedback to teacher about their instruction. I also write observations and end-of-year evaluations. I am responsible for enforcing the school discipline policy. Oftentimes this involves investigative work and difficult conversations with both students and parents. I try to treat people with respect and I expect the same in return. I impose penalties that range from silent lunch to community service to suspension. The goal is always to help students learn from their mistakes, and to make sure that all students feel physically and emotionally safe at school. I organize MCAS (a state assessment). I enforce the school's attendance policies, which at times requires that I work closely with families to help them with problems occurring outside of school. I sometimes get to teach about topics important to adolescents (bullying, internet safety) I plan professional development (learning opportunities) for teachers.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: MCAS is the worst part of the job. I spend too much time organizing a task that takes away from the other, more important things that I do (teacher supervision, discipline).

One of the best things about my job is that I never know what to expect from one day to the next. Every day is literally unscripted. Sometimes I walk in and there is a bomb threat that we must react to, or a bus accident, or a student who is suffering emotionally.

The best thing about my job is interacting with all of the students and teachers on a daily basis. It is really a fun place to work.

Job Tips: Try to take advantage of opportunities to lead people. Have confidence in yourself.

If you want to be a school administrator, get some experience first as a teacher. This experience will help you to understand the struggles that teachers go through on a daily basis.

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