Time Needed: 2-4 hours
Are you thinking about going into elementary education? Do you want to eventually become a principal of an elementary school? Burt has 26 years of experience being a principal with the Ann Arbor Schools. Join him to learn more about the leadership and day-to-day management principals provide for their staff, children, parents, and the community. You will learn about the financial side of running a school, about developing academic programs and goals for all children, about overseeing teacher evaluations and students' academic progress, and about working with committees and teams both at the local school level and the district level. You will probably be surprised at how diverse a day is for elementary principals!
As our world and society have become more complex, principals spend more and more time trying to deal with the social and emotional needs of children. Many principals have chosen to provide before- and after-school child care to meet the needs of working parents and to avoid latch-key situations where youngsters go home to an empty home. As children of younger ages become involved with drugs, alcohol, and law-breaking behavior, schools have tried to establish programs and counseling services to better enable children to know about and choose different paths for their lives. On top of everything else, principals often manage and provide leadership for athletic and recreational programs, art and music opportunities, and even parenting workshops for parents and grandparents.
During your job shadowing experience, you will no doubt see principals interacting with children, staff, parents, and other community members. You may go to a meeting to discuss instructional goals and curriculum issues. There may be a parent meeting to advise their organization on ways to raise additional funds for better playground equipment, computers, or field trips. You may also provide some input on the qualifications and experiences the school seeks for new teachers in the coming year. Be ready for a fast-paced and busy time!
Age level: Middle through High School and Adults
Interests: Children, learning, teaching, leadership roles, management
Previous Classes/Knowledge: None really. But it is helpful if you somewhat like school, for principals need to keep going to classes themselves and they work in schools!