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Assistant Principal Interview Questions – An assistant principal, also known as a vice principal, is an entry-level position in an educational organization that helps the principal in the general running of the school. The activity is quick paced and requires performing multiple tasks to hold a leadership position in interaction with the student, instructors, and parents.
It might be upsetting on occasion too, as you should guarantee the wellbeing of the student and ensure that your school meets government and state understudy/instructor execution rules.
Some assistant principals see the job as a stepping stone into becoming a principal, while others are contented to remain in the job as their career.
Duties of an Assistant Principal
While no two days are the same, typical job duties for an assistant principal include:
- Enforcing attendance rules.
- Meeting with parents to discuss student behavioral or learning problems.
- Responding to disciplinary issues.
- Coordinating the use of school facilities for day-to-day activities and special events.
- Working with teachers to develop curriculum standards.
- Observing teachers and evaluating learning materials to determine areas where improvement is needed.
- Coordinating transportation for students.
- Hiring and training staff.
- Ordering equipment and supplies.
- Maintaining systems for attendance, performance, planning and other reports.
- Supervising grounds and facilities maintenance.
- Walking the hallways and checking in on teachers and classrooms.
- Responding to emails from teachers, parents and community members.
The Salary Range for Assistant Principals
Salaries for assistant principals differ depending on geographic region and school district size. The National Association of Secondary School Principals carried out a survey in 2010 and discovered that the average salaries are between $64,398 to $94,673 for middle school assistant principals and from $68,274 to $98,079 for high school assistant principals.
Salaries on both coasts are much higher than in the middle of the country and in school districts with more than 25,000 students. On the other hand, the lowest salaries are found in the Southwest, and in school districts with less than 2,500 students.
Elementary school principals collect an average of $71,893 yearly, according to a survey by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
Education Requirements for Assistant Principals
Principals and vice principals normally need a master’s degree, most preferably in educational leadership, education administration or other related fields, in order to be eligible for the role. Lots of states require master’s degrees for certification.
According to the BLS, about 45 percent of principals have master’s degrees and 13 percent have a doctorate.
Elementary, middle and high school principals
- Less than high school diploma: 0.7%
- High school diploma or equivalent: 5.1%
- Some college, no degree: 9%
- Associate degree: 5%
- Bachelor’s degree: 22%
- Master’s degree: 44.7%
- Doctoral or professional degree: 13.5%
How to Become an Assistant Principal
The first step to becoming a Vice Principal is to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. Most vice principals start their careers as teachers. With that said, they typically hold a Bachelor’s as well as teaching credentials. Both of these are a requirement before one can become a Vice Principal.
Once you have a Bachelor’s Degree and your teaching credentials, you must gain some work experience. This experience comes from being a teacher. As a teacher, you will have experience in curriculum development, creating a safe learning environment, and evaluating student work.
All these components are important for becoming a vice principal, because they help individuals understand the teaching field, responsibilities of a teacher, and classroom practices. Most states require a couple of years experience teaching before one can gain licensure as a vice principal.
Assistant Principal Interview Questions
1. How much do you know about this school’s improvement plan? What do you think you can contribute to that plan?
2. Describe your vision of an effective (elementary/middle/high) school in as much detail as possible.
3. How would you describe your leadership style?
4. How would you rate yourself as a disciplinarian?
5. Recall a time a situation needed to be handled with great sensitivity and tact. What was the issue? What was the outcome?
6. How do you empower teachers to be leaders?
7. List some traits of highly effective teachers. How does this inform the way you hire them?
8. Recall a time you made an unpopular decision. What was the reaction? How did you handle it?
9. Some teachers are complaining about a lack of administrative support. How would you address it?
10. How do teacher evaluations correspond to student achievement?
11. How do you help teachers improve their instruction methods?
12. What classroom management strategies have been most effective for you?
13. How would you advise new teachers during their first year on the job?
14. Describe a time you had to give negative feedback to a veteran teacher. How did it go?
15. How would you bridge the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students?
16. How do you know when a parent organization is effective?
17. When dealing with difficult students, at what point do you involve parents? How would you communicate with them?
18. Describe a time you discovered a student actively endangering other students. How did you handle it?
19. What would you do if a group of students launched a complaint against a teacher?
20. What would you do if extracurricular activities were in danger of being phased out due to budget cuts?
21. What new services or activities did you establish at your previous school?
22. How would you increase the school’s involvement with the community?
23. What are the strengths of this school? What are our weaknesses?
24. What is your greatest weakness?
25. What is your greatest weakness?
26. What is your greatest strength?
27. Why did you leave your last job?
28. Why should we hire you?
29. Why should we hire you?
30. What is your greatest accomplishment?
31. What can we expect from you in your first 90 days?
32. What can we expect from you in your first 90 days?
33. What are your salary expectations?
34. Do you have any questions?
35. Do you have any questions?
36. Are you a team player?
37. What challenges are you looking for in this position?
38. What experience do you have in this field?
39. Why do you want to work with us?
40. Tell me a suggestion you have made that was implemented in this field?
42. Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor?
43. Tell me what you know about this company?
44. What do you know about us?
45. What do you know about us?
46. If your previous co-workers were here, what would they say about you?
47. What major challenges and problems did you face?
48. Describe your management style?
49. What did you like or dislike about your previous job?
50. What types of people do you find it difficult to get on with?
Vice Principal Salary and Job Outlook
As vice principals share many of the same duties as principals, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics placed these professionals the same for reporting purposes. The average salary for principals at the elementary, middle, and high school grades was $90,410 per year as of 2015.
Principals in these grades are projected to see job growth of 6% from 2014 to 2024.Administrators in postsecondary education make a similar average annual salary of $88,580, with stronger job growth prospects of 9% from 2014 to 2024.
Helpful Skills and Experience
Getting experience as a classroom teacher is solid preparation for becoming a vice principal, as this experience offers a ground-level knowledge of school function that will be necessary when working with students and faculty.
Vice principals should be outgoing with energetic interpersonal skills since much of their work is done in a cooperative environment. Leadership and organizational skills are also necessary to perform this job effectively
Possible Job Titles for This Career
- Assistant School Director
- Assistant School Leader
- Assistant Principal
- Assistant Dean
- Assistant School Head
- Education Administrator
Assistant principals typically have several years’ teaching experience, which is necessary because assistant principals work directly with students, parents, and other teachers. This role requires a deep knowledge of human development, pedagogy, leadership, and school management.
Although the work days are long and inflexible, many assistant principals find that this position meets their talents and passion for educational leadership.
While this entry-level leadership position is an important step toward more advanced leadership roles, many can make a difference in children’s and teachers’ lives as assistant principal.
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