Education is the fundamental right of every human being. Therefore, schools must be accessible and follow quality standards to ensure that students make the most of their academic journey. This is why education administrators play an essential role in bridging the education gap and ensuring no child gets left behind.
Schools need a structure to operate successfully. From a sound curriculum to qualified teachers running the show at every level, much work needs overseeing. So as an education administrator, your position is crucial in every schooling system, but what does the job entail, and how do you pursue this position?
Find out more below:
What Is An Education Administrator?
Education administration is a profession closely associated with principals and superintendents in a traditional schooling system. On the academic hierarchy ladder, you are at the top and need to perform the role of a leader and a mentor. The decisions you take will define the school’s trajectory. These include allocating a reasonable budget, initiating learning programs, and arranging for resources such as tech gadgets to facilitate studying.
Since you’re shouldering a highly multifaceted job, you need the proper credentials to ensure you leave no stone unturned. To lead any educational institute with a purpose, you must have a master’s degree to support your skills. Fortunately, you can easily acquire one by enrolling in an MS online and completing the due coursework. An advanced degree in education shapes your perspective into a more refined one allowing you to see the problems with the current system and develop required solutions. You’re also better informed with much more adaptable skills, knowledge, and understanding of what it takes to run a school.
A Deeper Look Into The Education Industry
As an education administrator, you will commence your career with a bachelor’s degree in education or any closely related field. As a new educator on the block, you may have to start your career as a teacher and work your way upwards from there. Once you have substantial experience, you can look into applying for a master’s degree.
The coursework you follow needs to cover administrative theory, public policy, ethics, financial management, and curriculum planning. It will also help if you have research papers under your name that discuss the nuances of education. Certain states require educational leaders to have a school administrator license before they can apply for their position in the school’s management.
An Overview of Responsibilities
Like any manager, your job is to ensure the workflow is seamless and every employee is on the same page as you. Schools have several tasks that need addressing every day. These include the curriculum and ensuring students receive well-planned lectures while having access to resources like computers and laptops to streamline learning.
You may also need to meet parents and, with their help, work on creating more inclusive learning programs. While the work you do is exhaustive, typically, your responsibilities revolve around the following goals:
- Confirm The School’s Academic Year. Before any academic session starts, you need to have a yearly plan to determine how each school year will progress. This outline informs parents what classes and activities their child will be involved in. The academic year timetable also includes test dates, expected examination months, and holidays to prepare the schooling staff and pupils beforehand for what is to come.
Additionally, school counselors are required to create individual schedules and distribute them among students to ensure they know what class and building they’ll be in to prevent confusion and ensure students maintain their required credits.
- Develop Individualized Learning Programs. Schools have a blend of pupils. Apart from hailing from different socioeconomic backgrounds, you may have children with disabilities attending your school. These pupils need more attention and resources to keep up with their peers without feeling discriminated against. Therefore by meeting with parents, you need to design IEPs that account for the student’s strengths and limitations, so the special education teacher knows how to work with them.
This includes understanding the kind of disability the student has, learning goals they can achieve, and activities they can partake in without feeling overwhelmed. It also includes coping mechanisms and access to school counselors who can mentor and watch students progress throughout the academic year.
- Update School Policies. You must keep up with educational trends and reshape policies to be inclusive and diverse, such as solid anti-bullying standards and ensuring safety for every student. Furthermore, you may need to carry out bias training workshops that prevent the teachers and students in your institutes from implicit bias and stereotypes or showing prejudice against pupils.
For example, it is discouraged to target children based on their race, religious beliefs, gender, or openly show a disdain for the LGBT community. You also need to know government-mandated rulings in schools, such as asking students to vaccinate and creating a separate structure for conducting online classes. Part of school policies also includes having a standard set for the teachers you plan on hiring that sheds light on their education, credentials, and experience.
A Look Into Your Career
There are many specialized subfields you can pursue as an education administrator. These include the dean of student affairs, principal, instructional coordinator, and curriculum director. Each of these roles is necessary for giving schools structure and providing stability to students. Depending on the subfield you pursue, you may see your career stand out in different ways. As a principal, the BLS predicts that there will be a 4% growth in job opportunities in the next decade, while instructional coordinators may see a 6% growth.
Your salary also depends on the work you do, the state you get employed in, and your experience level. As a principal with your advanced degree and experience, you can make up to $98,000 annually, while curriculum developers can make close to $70,000 annually. Generally, states along the east coast pay educationists much higher than those on the west.
Without good leadership, schools can’t function or meet yearly targets. Therefore, you can’t discount your position as an education administrator. Your job addresses an educational institute’s needs while ensuring you can achieve them. So you may be involved in developing a curriculum, hiring the best teachers, and ensuring optimal parental involvement. It is also your job to keep the students studying under your management safe and included. This is why you can’t allow biased teachers or abusive environments to cultivate under your supervision.
When it comes to becoming a successful education administrator, having a master’s degree will help your job. You can also choose to specialize and pick a specific spot on the administrative board to define your role further.