JobsNow: The impact principals have on academic performance

A principal can be a big influence on a student's academic performance

Heather Campbell had 20 years of experience teaching eight grade students. But, she saw an opportunity in leaving the classroom and becoming a principal.


WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Students and teachers enjoyed a nice, long holiday break, but they’ve been back in session for a couple weeks now.

The time may have sparked a few teachers into thinking about getting into administration.

But, there are a few things to consider before making the jump from classroom to principal’s office.

Heather Campbell had 20 years of experience teaching eight grade students. But, she saw an opportunity in leaving the classroom and becoming a principal.

“I could make a bigger difference, though, in the lives of children. But if I could impact teachers, they could impact more students,” she said.

Before thinking about getting into administration, a teacher must know how to build relationships with students, families, colleagues and even the community. Plus, they need to know content standards and the curriculum and have mastered it while in the classroom.

“Take students from where they are, because we have students at all levels, and be able to move them to grow better to where they were when the came into your classroom,” Campbell said.

A principal can be a big influence on a student’s academic performance, and much of that is by attracting and keeping good teachers.

It may not be as much classroom time, but principals can still make a big impact in the classroom or simply by going off the students’ art projects to see what they’re learning and how they’re developing.

“So I truly get to see them grow in amazing ways, not just physically but emotionally, socially and academically. They become young adults,” Campbell said.

Principals need a master’s degree, but most teachers get that through continuing education.

There’s little time behind the desk to sit and relax because principals are always making sure that learning spreads throughout the entire school.

“It is long hours but it’s worth every minute of it. I come to school excited. Every single day is different and the hugs and smiles on these students’ faces make it all worth it,” Campbell said.

The need for principals will come mainly in school districts with increasing enrollments; a 6 percent growth is expected within the next eight years, right on pace with the average for all jobs.

To learn more about the qualifications needed to become a principal and to see where the jobs are, visit the Ohio Means Jobs website.

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