Inside Principal Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Best & Worst Things About This Career


Dean Of Students: "The best part of the job is helping girls grow and take responsibility for themselves and their community. The second best part is living on campus, raising my family at a boarding school, and seeing my children connect with girls from all over the world. The most challenging part comes on those rare but important occasions when I have no choice but to separate a student from the school. It's always painful for me and their families, and I am thankful that it doesn't happen often." (2010)


Elementary School Principal: "Without a doubt, the best part of my job is working with the students, parents, and staff to provide an exciting, fun, and challenging environment for our elementary school population. I get to work collaboratively with others as well as lead and guide. The most difficult part of being an elementary school principal is the discipline it involves. It can be tricky when working with both the student and the parent or guardian." (2010)


Principal: "The best part of the job is seeing your efforts filter down to student learning and engagement; seeing teaching improve because of something you have initiated; laughter of kids and all the funny things they say. The worst is dealing with difficult parents who don't share the school's values." (2009)

Career Tips


"Teach A Course Even As An Administrator...
If you want to be a dean, take as many courses in sociology and psychology as you can. If you are going to work in independent schools, do not major in education. Major in your subject of interest (English or history, for example). Get a master's degree in something that you really enjoy. When starting your career as a school administrator, insist on teaching a course; this will help your credibility with the faculty and give you a better understanding of what they go through." (Dean Of Students; 2010)


"Teach First...
First of all I highly suggest that you spend several years as a teacher to get the experience and a firm foundation for working with children. Secondly, make sure you enter into a leadership program that fits your schedule and life style so you can take full advantage of the courses and information being given to you. Finally, understand that you won't necessarily be everyone's favorite person. Get a little tougher and when you go home at night, know that the decisions you made that day where best and most supportive of the child." (Elementary School Principal; 2010)


"Do What's Right For The Children...
1. Be patient. Change takes an enormous amount of thought, planning and time. 2. Always plan with the end in mind. It will help you thoughtfully design your journey. 3. If you can go to sleep at night knowing that what you did was best for the kids, you've made the right decisions." (Principal; 2009)