Some educators love teaching in the classroom, and others find themselves interested in the bigger picture of how their schools run, how well curriculum meets students’ needs and how the school fits into the district and community.
If you find yourself drawn to administration, consider becoming a school principal in Illinois. Principals provide critically important leadership and support that allows teachers to do their best work and maximizes opportunities for students to learn.
To become a principal in Illinois, start by researching education degrees and principal preparation programs.
National Louis University offers M. Ed. and Ed.S. programs which fulfill the requirements to become a principal in Illinois.
You’ll need a valid teaching license and at least four years of teaching experience completed by the time you earn your educational administrator degree. If you have not passed the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency earlier in your schooling, you will need to pass it.
Next, many universities ask candidates for a principal endorsement to interview with faculty. At National Louis University, for example, faculty use the interview to assess four competencies: facilitation, problem-solving, group dynamics and standards-based content knowledge.
Consider becoming a principal in order to support teachers and help them do their best work to enable students to learn.
You may also need to write an essay demonstrating your understanding of the nature of an administrator task, application of relevant theory and leadership concepts, writing skills and standards-based content knowledge.
Compile a teaching and leadership portfolio, and be sure to demonstrate evidence of your students’ growth and learning. If you do not already hold a graduate degree, you may need to take the Miller Analogies Test or GRE.
Once you are on track to graduate with your M.Ed. or Ed.S. degree, take and pass the Principal Content Exam in Illinois, and complete the Growth Through Learning Teacher Evaluation modules.
You will then receive the principal endorsement on your Professional Educator’s License (PEL). This license replaces the Type 75 General Administrative License in Illinois.