Becoming a School Principal: 8 Skills and Qualities You’ll Need to Get There


Whether you have been a teacher for the past several years or are just considering the teaching profession, you may eventually think to climb the ladder and become a school principal. If you are interested in becoming a school principal, it is crucial to know what skills and abilities you will need before committing to this role.

To become a school principal, you need to have a mountain of knowledge at your disposal and a bunch of hard skills to back it up. Here are some skills and qualities you will need to make your dream of becoming a school principal a reality.

1) Decision-making

Being decisive is an important quality of a principal because it shows that you can make decisions effectively. Being decisive helps you to handle the many situations faced by a principal. A principal must be responsible, fair, and open-minded when making decisions. You can learn to make decisions in challenging and pressurizing situations through experience and positive reinforcement. The more you practice making decisions, the better you will become at making the right call when faced with a difficult situation.

2) Leadership

As a school principal, you need to have leadership potential. Some schools will even require you to have an advanced degree; typically, this means a master’s degree in educational leadership or management. Having leadership potential means that you must be able to facilitate the day-to-day activities of the school and ensure that students are learning and teachers are teaching.

A part of leadership is ensuring that all school policies are upheld and that the educational environment is safe for staff and pupils alike. You must also need to monitor student performance. This includes ensuring students receive the proper education and any special help they may need.

3) Empowering Others

Empowering others is a great quality for a school principal, who must motivate the staff members, teachers, and other workers. This is an important role because it helps employees feel free to do their best.

A good leader knows how to empower others and motivate them to work as effectively as possible. One of the best ways to empower your employees is by creating a culture of encouragement at your school. When people feel appreciated, they are more likely to put forth their best efforts. However, it is important to remember that empowerment is not just a one-way street. To truly empower someone else, you have to take the time and effort to listen to what they have to say and help them grow.

4) Technology

To become a school principal, you need to have technology skills. Technology skills are essential for principals because they have to use different types of software like Microsoft Office. Tasks that involve technology include using email, managing databases, and managing social media accounts. The technological needs of a school vary depending on its size.

5) Budgeting

Budgeting is an essential skill for anyone responsible for managing money. As a school principal, you will be expected to develop budgeting skills that will help you learn how to manage school finances and make sound investment decisions. With the help of your school’s accountant and financial manager, you will be responsible for overseeing all financial aspects of the school. This includes maintaining accurate records of income and expenses, anticipating future costs, and making decisions about how to allocate funding to achieve the goals of your institution.

You must keep an eye on the cash inflows and outflows related to your school. This will allow you to make adjustments as necessary so that you are not surprised by additional expenses or cash flow shortages. You should continue monitoring income and expenditures throughout the year so that you can prepare for next year’s budget as soon as possible.

6) Delegation

Delegation is one of the essential skills a school principal can have. As the leader of students, teachers, and other support staff at your school, you will be responsible for a large amount of work that needs to be done. You need to delegate tasks according to each individual’s capabilities, such as time management skills.

For example, if you are preparing for an event and need help with decoration, you can ask someone else in your office to help you. Delegating tasks allows you to focus on more important responsibilities. It also helps build your team’s sense of responsibility. It is a good way to develop leadership skills in your employees and allow them to become more valuable assets in the workplace.

7) Communication

Communication skills are essential for any leader, but they are particularly important in the education field. School principals have to interact with various people and make sure everyone’s on the same page, from teachers and parents to administrators and local governments. As a school principal, your messages should be concise and delivered in a respectful manner that does not belittle others or cause them to feel threatened or intimidated. You have to be confident, clear and specific about your expectations and how you intend to measure success.

8) Willingness to receive feedback

You must be dedicated and driven not just to lead but also to learn. To do this, you need to be open-minded and willing to receive and give feedback. Feedback helps people grow professionally and personally. If you are not open-minded about receiving feedback from others, it will be difficult for you to make changes in your behavior or approach.

A good principal knows how to listen to these opinions, consider them and choose the best one based on the school’s goals. So, you need to be willing to change the way things are done in your school and be open to criticism.


Becoming a school principal is the ultimate goal for many teachers. It is not the easiest path to take, but it is achievable. But, as with anything, it requires planning and research of different approaches before attempting to take any steps forward. Once you achieve this position, it helps to possess as much knowledge and experience as possible to carry out your responsibilities effectively and deal with the challenges of a fast-paced work environment.


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