Education professionals sometimes do not understand what skills are in a school principal job description. Here are some of the common myths and the reality of them. The first myth is that education administration requires the same skills as teaching professionals. Education administrators need to come from an education background. They need to know what teachers are going through in a typical classroom. However, they also need additional skills that most teachers do not have. They need to be able to deal with all aspects of managing the school. This includes human resources, finances, budget, and other business like concerns. They also need skills in leadership and planning.
The second myth is that the school principal job description does not involve business skills. Managing the school has several similarities to running a business. The principal stands as the leader of the entire school. He or she is the one that teachers, students, and other administrative staff look to for leadership. The principal is the one responsible for reporting to higher administration officials about the school. The principal also has to deal with human resources, information systems, and other business concerns within the school structure. While a school is not a business, some aspects are similar.
The third myth is that the school principal job description is pure politics. A good deal of the school principal's job is somewhat political. They have to handle interpersonal communications with the number of school board officials while also dealing with the demands of classroom teachers. In the midst of this, they also have to handle the students as well. All of this takes the ability to read people and to provide them with the information necessary. However, much of the principal's life is not around politics. It goes down to being able to handle the operations of the school day to day. Principals need more skills that a normal politician does.
Another myth is that the school principal job description does not involve dealing with students. Some people think of a principal as someone who sits in an office and does not interact with students at all. However, a good principal does just that. Students need to know who the principal is and have an understanding of that person's personality. The principal provides leadership for the teachers and administrative staff. However, they also provide a role model for students within their school. Principals also deal with parents on occasion. This requires knowing students first-hand.
A final myth associated with the school principal job description is that administrators do not need teaching skills. Some people think that they can enter education administration without becoming a classroom teacher. While that may be technically true, many school administrations would not consider a principal who did not have an education background. Since principals have to be the spokesman between teachers and higher administration, the principal needs to understand all the challenges the classroom teacher faces every day. Otherwise, they may not have the respect necessary to get their job done effectively.