If you want to meet the requirements for being hired as a principal in Iowa, you must already be teaching in the regular school system. The minimum qualifications for an administrative position ion a school is that you have at least five years of successful teaching experience at the grade levels of the school. This means that if you want to be an elementary school principal, your teaching experience must be at the elementary school level. The same thing applies for applying for an administrative position in a secondary school - your experience must be in high school. In addition you must have at least a Master's degree.
Other qualifications for the position of principal include the requirement that you hold an Iowa Administrative Endorsement. This endorsement to be the administrator of a school means that you have completed a variety of courses related to the administration of the school and that you have knowledge of curriculum development. Some of the courses you have to take to meet these requirements include those in which you will learn:
- All about the various levels of child development and education and how to supervise and evaluate the teachers of these classes
- The development of curriculum appropriate to the various grade levels and subject areas taught in the school
- School law and the legislative and public policies that affect students and their families
- Current issues and research in education
- How to develop and facilitate a vision of learning within a school
- The preparation, development and management of a school budget
One of the main responsibilities of a principal in an Iowa school is to implement the professional development model for supporting change and innovation in the schools of the state. The administrator must be an agent of change and demonstrate this through the teaching experience. An administrator in a school should have clear leadership skills, but yet be able to delegate duties to the assistant principal and other teachers. Communication skills are essential to listen to teachers, parents and students and to deal with the many day-to-day problems of running a school.
There is a type of ladder for advancing in your teaching career in Iowa. You start off as a beginning teacher certified to teach in a school. Through your professional development and additional university course, you receive a professional teaching certificate and become designated as a highly qualified teacher. As you become recognized in the school for your leadership qualities or become department head in a high school, you will be working towards becoming a d teacher leader and eventually a school principal.