How Do I Become A School Superintendent?
Working as a school superintendent can be rewarding in many areas of your life. It delivers a mix of challenge, schedule flexibility, and the chance to engage with both students and teachers. There are many requirements, including certification and years of teaching experience. After you meet all the requirements and fulfill a few other expectations, you’ll be able to achieve your career goals while working as a leader within your school district.
There is some variance on education requirements from one state to another. It would be best if you had a Master’s degree in either education, school administration, or a closely related field. This accomplishment should come become before you try to obtain your certification.
The typical education path to become a school superintendent will look like this:
- Obtain a Bachelor’s degree
- Obtain a Teaching Credential
- Obtain a Master’s degree
- Obtain Superintendent or Administrative Professional Certification
Earning Your Certifications
In some states, the title is a Superintendent Certification in other states it’s referred to as an Administrative Services Credential. Either way, the test covers much of the same material, and it critical to gaining your spot as a school superintendent. There isn’t a way to fast track this credential as you do need the Master’s program or many years in the field. The test is extremely difficult.
These tests are often only available to those with Master’s degrees or with an adequate number of year’s experience teaching as directed by the state. It is also worth noting that some states require you to obtain principal certification and work as a principal before being able to test for superintendent certification.
Obtaining your certification is the start of lifelong education. Each year you will have to meet changing continuing education requirements to sustain your certification.
Necessary Skills for a Superintendent
Superintendents play a much different role within the school environment. They address aspects of safety and specific educational standards. You will need not only a passion for education and the educational system as well. If you’re easily irritated with handling systems and policies, this role may not be for you.
So, what does a superintendent need? In terms of soft skills, a superintendent should possess:
- Outstanding communication skills, both verbal and written.
- Charismatic and easy to approach personality.
- Handling “tough” situations, including topics such as bullying and suicide.
- Promote an inclusive culture
Other skills include helping promote the professional development of your peers. You’ll need to lean on these skills throughout your career, so it’s best to develop them early.
An Opportunity for Educators
Many teachers believe that teaching is their career, but if you’re looking for something new or more challenging, you should evaluate your state’s requirements to become a superintendent. The best way to become a superintendent is to work as a teacher, continually pursue advanced education, and to obtain all relevant credentials or certifications.
As a result of your hard work, you will then be in a position to impact teachers, parents, and students while transforming education standards.