Virtually all school administrators started out as teachers, but experience alone doesn't qualify a teacher to become an assistant principal. In most districts, moving from the classroom into an administrative position requires an advanced degree. If you are interested in taking your teaching career to a leadership level, begin by getting a master's degree in educational administration.
From Dealing with Kids to Dealing with Teachers Running a classroom is very different from running a school or department. For one thing, you're leading a group of teachers instead of a group of kids. But there are many other differences. An educational administration master's degree program includes instruction in areas such as school finances and budgeting, counseling, curriculum development, education law, and management and leadership. It's designed to prepare you for the different responsibilities administrators deal with. In addition to administrative positions such as department head (in which you can continue teaching), assistant principal or principal, a master's degree in educational administration can also qualify you for positions at the district level such as assistant superintendent or curriculum specialist.