Becoming a principal can unlock the door to educational leadership and make a lasting impact on both teachers and students.
If you’re considering taking your experience in education to the next level and pursuing a pivotal role in the educational ecosystem, a principal position might be for you. And you might be filling a crucial void.
According to the Texas Education Agency, the organization that oversees public education in Texas, the number of newly certified Texas principals decreased by 50% from 2016 to 2022. Over the past decade, the attrition rate - or the rate by which principals have left the profession - has risen by almost 5%.
Advancing into a principal position can be incredibly rewarding. This role allows you to influence the educational journey of students and the professional growth of teachers and staff. Principals have the opportunity to create supportive and inspiring learning environments while fostering student success. Perhaps most importantly, principals can empower teachers and staff to excel in their roles … ultimately contributing to the overall success of the school
If you’re ready to make a greater impact, here’s what you need to know about earning your Texas principal certification and who can help you achieve your goals.
5 Steps To Get Your Texas Principal Certification
To become a principal in Texas, you must meet five requirements, according to the TEA:
Have two years of creditable teaching experience as a classroom teacher
Successfully complete an approved principal educator preparation program (in which you’ll complete the Performance Assessments for School Leaders (PASL) during your internship)
Successfully complete the required exams (TExES Principal 268)
It’s important to note that the PASL and the certification test can typically be taken simultaneously during the year of internship that is part of your program training.
What is the PASL? The Performance Assessments for School Leaders is an assessment of progress and efficiency as a principal or vice principal, and is reported at the end of the internship. The assessment includes tasks that focus on addressing a problem or challenge, developing continuous professional development and building a collaborative culture. In other words, the PASL helps determine whether you’re prepared to enter into a school leadership position.
What is the TExES Principal 268? This content exam is an instructional leader exam that prepares educational leaders for their role in managing students, faculty and staff. The exam also focuses on methods used to improve school performance and increase student achievement.
Once you successfully complete all of the coursework and training, as well as receive a passing score on your TExES Principal 268 content exam and PASL, you must receive the recommendation of the site supervisor and field supervisor.
What To Look For In A Principal Educator Preparation Program
The right educator preparation program was important at the beginning of your teaching career when you earned your Texas teacher certification. Finding the right principal certification program now as you take this next step in your career is just as important.
Offer a balance of online and in-person opportunities so you can take advantage of both flexibility and face-to-face interactions
Provide advisers or supervisors with extensive experience in the field
Allow you to complete training and testing simultaneously so that you can meet your requirements more efficiently and timely
NOT treat you as a number put you on a timeline that looks like everyone else’s
NOT offer test preparation as a costly add-on
Mentorship and support are incredibly important at this stage in your career. Although you may have extensive classroom teaching experience, you can benefit from mentorship from experienced principals and ongoing support from your principal preparation program.
The top educator preparation programs will offer this level of support and provide a strong emphasis on practical, real-world application … ensuring you are well-prepared to excel in your new role as a principal and make a meaningful impact in the education system.
Scott is the Deputy Executive Director and Program Consultant. Scott earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology from Texas Woman's University and a Master of Education from Texas Woman's University. Scott has extensive experience in both the classroom and as an administrator in districts in North Texas.
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