If a career in education intrigues you but a classroom filled with noisy kids doesn't, you might want to consider working as an assistant superintendent of schools. These professionals provide leadership and administrative guidance to school districts, and opportunities abound. The United States has more than 13,000 school districts, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, and nearly all of them employ one or more assistant superintendents. Before you begin your job search, however, you need to scoop up the facts about working as an assistant superintendent of schools.
Curriculum Development and Oversight
As the assistant superintendent of schools, your responsibilities start with creating and monitoring the curriculum for all of the schools in the district. You must decide what students need to learn and how they'll learn it. To do this job, you must have experience developing a curriculum and knowledge of instructional strategies. Ultimately, your goal centers around meeting state requirements for student learning, and your success will depend on your ability to maximize student achievement and teacher excellence. You will hire the district's curriculum coordinators and work with them and with teachers and school administrators to develop teaching strategies and select the books and other materials used in the classroom.
Administration and Personnel
The assistant superintendent plays a role much like that of an assistant manager for a business. Essentially, this means making big decisions and generally supporting the top dog, the superintendent, as directed. If the superintendent hollers for help, you rush to her aid. If the superintendent is absent, you fill her shoes. Typically, the assistant superintendent also recruits, hires, evaluates and critiques teachers and oversees staff development. You also must deal with the unexpected, such as responding to a natural disaster.
The assistant superintendent is the chief bean counter. She handles school district finances and makes purchasing decisions. This means creating and monitoring the school district's budget and approving all spending. The assistant superintendent also develops the pay scale for district personnel and provides funding to schools for extracurricular activities, including sports and clubs, and special programs, such as graduation ceremonies. The job also requires work on the revenue side. This includes helping the school district's board set the property tax rate and applying for grant money.
Qualifications and Skills
The job requires individuals with good communication skills. You also need to know how to motivate students to perform well and how to motivate teachers. While education requirements vary, most school districts look for assistant superintendents who have at least a master's degree in business administration, public administration or educational leadership, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A background as a school principal or teacher may boost your chances of landing a job.
- Watertown Public Schools: Assistant Superintendent Job Description
- Wicked Local: New Assistant Superintendent Excited for Role, Challenges
- Salisbury Public Schools: Assistant Superintendent
- National Center for Education Statistics: Digest of Education Statistics 2010
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Elementary, Middle and High School Principals
Based in Central Florida, Ron White has worked as professional journalist since 2001. He specializes in sports and business. White started his career as a sportswriter and later worked as associate editor for Maintenance Sales News and as the assistant editor for "The Observer," a daily newspaper based in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. White has written more than 2,000 news and sports stories for newspapers and websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University.