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HIGH SCHOOL ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL: The School's Resident Problem-Solver

About this video 

Mitch, a high school assistant principal, began his career as an English teacher and then proceeded to get a degree in Education Administration and moving on to fill a more administrative capacity within education. He tells us that he spends his typical day solving various problems for students and staff - from handling disciplinary issues to hiring, to implementing new curriculum. Mitch tells us that he finds helping others and reaching students to be really fulfilling work, but that issues with compensation can sometimes get in the way of that.

Degree: Education - English Language and Literature - Educational Administration and Supervision
Job Title: High School Assistant Principal

Job Summary: Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School

Job Description

Elementary, middle, and high school principals lead teachers and other members of school staff. They manage the day-to-day operations of elementary, middle, and high schools. They set goals and objectives and evaluate their school's progress toward meeting them.

On-the-Job Training

None

Additional Info

Most states require public school principals to be licensed as school administrators. Licensure requirements vary from state to state, but most require a master’s degree or some other training. Some require candidates to pass a test and take continuing education classes to keep their license.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$60,000 - $130,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
5 to 15 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Long hours
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Office, Indoor
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Detail oriented, Patience, Problem solving skills, Analytical skills, Written communication skills, Verbal communication skills, Leadership ability, People skills, Empathy, Organizational skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='467'>Hi,</span> <span m='934'>my name is</span> <span m='1401'>Mitch McGrath.</span> <span m='1870'>I'm</span> <span m='2180'>an</span> <span m='2290'>assistant</span> <span m='2390'>principal</span> <span m='2970'>at</span> <span m='3190'>Madison</span> <span m='3640'>West</span> <span m='3950'>High</span> <span m='4050'>School</span> <span m='4750'>in</span> <span m='5160'>Madison,</span> <span m='5760'>Wisconsin.</span> <span m='6890'>And</span> <span m='7730'>in</span> <span m='7830'>a</span> <span m='7880'>typical</span> <span m='8300'>day,</span> <span m='9060'>it's</span> <span m='9320'>kind of</span> <span m='9510'>unpredictable.</span> <span m='11090'>Could</span> <span m='11250'>be</span> <span m='11380'>dealing</span> <span m='11800'>with</span> <span m='12210'>a</span> <span m='12330'>number</span> <span m='12700'>of</span> <span m='12880'>crisis</span> <span m='13370'>situations,</span> <span m='14250'>depending</span> <span m='14760'>on</span> <span m='15590'>what</span> <span m='15760'>happens</span> <span m='16120'>with</span> <span m='16250'>our</span> <span m='16350'>student</span> <span m='16680'>body and</span> <span m='17150'>our</span> <span m='17240'>staff.</span> <span m='17720'>We have</span> <span m='17960'>250</span> <span m='19700'>staff</span> <span m='20070'>members</span> <span m='20510'>and</span> <span m='21270'>2,200</span> <span m='22060'>students.</span> <span m='23160'>So</span> <span m='23545'>a</span> <span m='23930'>lot</span> <span m='24060'>of</span> <span m='24130'>times</span> <span m='24540'>it's a</span> <span m='24885'>referral from a</span> <span m='25230'>teacher</span> <span m='25670'>for a</span> <span m='25860'>disciplinary</span> <span m='26510'>issue.</span> <span m='26870'>Sometimes</span> <span m='27310'>it</span> <span m='27390'>might</span> <span m='27590'>be</span> <span m='27810'>a</span> <span m='27900'>disruption</span> <span m='28350'>in the</span> <span m='28800'>hallway,</span> <span m='29250'>those</span> <span m='29600'>types</span> <span m='29870'>of</span> <span m='29970'>things.</span> <span m='31420'>And</span> <span m='31580'>it</span> <span m='31660'>involves</span> <span m='32090'>some</span> <span m='32150'>problem</span> <span m='32619'>solving</span> <span m='33070'>afterward.</span> <span m='33810'>Sometimes</span> <span m='34310'>there's</span> <span m='34440'>consequences.</span> <span m='35070'>Other</span> <span m='35480'>times</span> <span m='35890'>it's</span> <span m='36080'>just</span> <span m='36270'>an</span> <span m='36370'>opportunity</span> <span m='36930'>to</span> <span m='37020'>fix</span> <span m='37330'>that</span> <span m='37550'>situation</span> <span m='37945'>and move</span> <span m='38340'>forward.</span> </p><p><span m='40090'>Other</span> <span m='40290'>things</span> <span m='40620'>involve</span> <span m='41140'>staff</span> <span m='41630'>with</span> <span m='42290'>evaluations.</span> <span m='43640'>There's</span> <span m='44000'>hiring,</span> <span m='44520'>especially</span> <span m='44990'>in</span> <span m='45100'>the</span> <span m='45500'>spring</span> <span m='46010'>and in the</span> <span m='46230'>fall.</span> <span m='48350'>There's</span> <span m='48780'>meetings</span> <span m='49190'>with</span> <span m='49310'>teachers</span> <span m='49900'>and</span> <span m='50030'>coaches.</span> <span m='52370'>Again,</span> <span m='52550'>problem</span> <span m='52950'>solving</span> <span m='53430'>or</span> <span m='53520'>planning.</span> <span m='54080'>There's</span> <span m='54140'>curriculum</span> <span m='54760'>implementation.</span> <span m='55770'>So</span> <span m='56700'>there</span> <span m='56820'>is</span> <span m='56970'>any</span> <span m='57160'>number</span> <span m='57470'>of</span> <span m='57570'>meetings</span> <span m='58240'>that</span> <span m='58480'>I</span> <span m='58540'>may</span> <span m='58750'>be</span> <span m='59150'>either</span> <span m='59430'>attending,</span> <span m='59980'>or</span> <span m='60110'>facilitating,</span> <span m='61360'>during</span> <span m='61870'>the</span> <span m='61940'>course</span> <span m='62250'>of</span> <span m='62310'>a</span> <span m='62390'>typical</span> <span m='62760'>day</span> <span m='62880'>or</span> <span m='62980'>week.</span> </p><p><span m='65960'>One of</span> <span m='66130'>the</span> <span m='66160'>things</span> <span m='66460'>that I</span> <span m='66820'>enjoy</span> <span m='67030'>is</span> <span m='68230'>meeting</span> <span m='68990'>individually</span> <span m='69260'>with</span> <span m='69530'>the</span> <span m='69630'>students</span> <span m='69960'>to</span> <span m='70180'>problem</span> <span m='70540'>solve</span> <span m='70830'>around</span> <span m='71190'>issues,</span> <span m='71440'>whether</span> <span m='71570'>it's</span> <span m='71820'>grades,</span> <span m='72770'>attendance,</span> <span m='74650'>conflict</span> <span m='74930'>with</span> <span m='75070'>a</span> <span m='75290'>teacher,</span> <span m='75710'>those</span> <span m='75940'>types</span> <span m='76200'>of</span> <span m='76300'>things.</span> <span m='76770'>And</span> <span m='78030'>help</span> <span m='78590'>resolve</span> <span m='78990'>those</span> <span m='79260'>things.</span> </p><p><span m='80680'>When</span> <span m='80960'>I</span> <span m='81060'>was</span> <span m='81220'>in</span> <span m='81460'>college</span> <span m='81940'>my</span> <span m='83630'>major</span> <span m='84040'>was</span> <span m='84380'>English</span> <span m='84970'>and</span> <span m='85320'>Education.</span> <span m='85940'>So</span> <span m='86030'>I</span> <span m='86080'>became</span> <span m='86470'>an</span> <span m='86770'>English</span> <span m='87050'>teacher</span> <span m='87450'>at a</span> <span m='87500'>high</span> <span m='87670'>school</span> <span m='88000'>which</span> <span m='88220'>is</span> <span m='88870'>what I</span> <span m='89890'>set</span> <span m='90370'>out</span> <span m='90630'>to</span> <span m='90730'>do and</span> <span m='90890'>what</span> <span m='91150'>I</span> <span m='91180'>wanted</span> <span m='91540'>to</span> <span m='91640'>do.</span> <span m='92070'>Part of</span> <span m='92440'>the</span> <span m='92520'>reason</span> <span m='92900'>that I</span> <span m='92940'>wanted</span> <span m='93160'>to</span> <span m='93270'>teach</span> <span m='93580'>is</span> <span m='95000'>I</span> <span m='95300'>also</span> <span m='95510'>wanted</span> <span m='95730'>to</span> <span m='95890'>coach</span> <span m='96070'>at</span> <span m='96240'>the</span> <span m='96350'>high</span> <span m='96460'>school</span> <span m='96760'>level.</span> <span m='97050'>So I</span> <span m='97345'>was a</span> <span m='97640'>football</span> <span m='98080'>coach,</span> <span m='98440'>and a</span> <span m='98620'>girls</span> <span m='98890'>basketball</span> <span m='99460'>coach,</span> <span m='100790'>boys</span> <span m='101070'>basketball</span> <span m='101425'>for</span> <span m='101780'>one</span> <span m='102050'>year,</span> <span m='102570'>and</span> <span m='103940'>I</span> <span m='104010'>enjoyed</span> <span m='104430'>those</span> <span m='104780'>things.</span> </p><p><span m='107430'>When</span> <span m='107610'>you're</span> <span m='107770'>in</span> <span m='107850'>education</span> <span m='108570'>one of the</span> <span m='108790'>ways that</span> <span m='109070'>you</span> <span m='109240'>move</span> <span m='109460'>forward</span> <span m='109920'>on</span> <span m='110210'>the</span> <span m='110500'>pay</span> <span m='110660'>scale</span> <span m='111100'>is</span> <span m='111290'>just</span> <span m='111540'>getting</span> <span m='111890'>your</span> <span m='112730'>masters</span> <span m='113240'>degree,</span> <span m='113550'>so</span> <span m='113780'>continuing</span> <span m='114080'>your</span> <span m='114380'>education.</span> <span m='114880'>And</span> <span m='115380'>I</span> <span m='115490'>picked</span> <span m='115730'>a</span> <span m='115800'>program,</span> <span m='116640'>education</span> <span m='117200'>administration,</span> <span m='118480'>that</span> <span m='118800'>would</span> <span m='119660'>open</span> <span m='119940'>another</span> <span m='120280'>career</span> <span m='120570'>path</span> <span m='120825'>for me</span> <span m='121080'>at</span> <span m='121260'>some</span> <span m='121450'>point</span> <span m='122090'>down</span> <span m='122340'>the</span> <span m='122420'>road.</span> <span m='122860'>When</span> <span m='123220'>I</span> <span m='123360'>started</span> <span m='123700'>that,</span> <span m='124080'>I didn't</span> <span m='124200'>realize</span> <span m='124700'>that</span> <span m='124920'>that's</span> <span m='125920'>really</span> <span m='126220'>what</span> <span m='126400'>I</span> <span m='126450'>wanted</span> <span m='126830'>to</span> <span m='126930'>do</span> <span m='127410'>when</span> <span m='127550'>I</span> <span m='127610'>got</span> <span m='127840'>into</span> <span m='128000'>the</span> <span m='128090'>program.</span> <span m='129145'>I</span> <span m='129520'>was</span> <span m='129639'>very</span> <span m='129830'>excited</span> <span m='130240'>about</span> <span m='130900'>becoming</span> <span m='131410'>a</span> <span m='131470'>principle,</span> <span m='131950'>becoming an</span> <span m='132370'>administrator,</span> <span m='133150'>and</span> <span m='133430'>influencing</span> <span m='134830'>teachers</span> <span m='135180'>and</span> <span m='135300'>students</span> <span m='135710'>alike.</span> <span m='136090'>And</span> <span m='136220'>so</span> <span m='136360'>that's</span> <span m='136540'>what</span> <span m='136650'>motivated</span> <span m='136910'>me</span> <span m='137480'>to</span> <span m='137940'>leave</span> <span m='138230'>teaching,</span> <span m='138660'>really,</span> <span m='138940'>and move</span> <span m='139408'>into</span> <span m='140344'>education</span> <span m='140812'>administration</span> <span m='143620'>very</span> <span m='144000'>soon</span> <span m='144380'>after</span> <span m='144630'>three</span> <span m='144870'>years</span> <span m='146410'>as</span> <span m='146550'>a</span> <span m='146630'>teacher.</span> </p><p><span m='150250'>When</span> <span m='150500'>I</span> <span m='150620'>started</span> <span m='151000'>my</span> <span m='151140'>career,</span> <span m='151670'>I</span> <span m='151750'>think,</span> <span m='155470'>I</span> <span m='155740'>can't</span> <span m='156020'>really</span> <span m='156410'>remember</span> <span m='156770'>anything</span> <span m='157080'>I</span> <span m='157120'>wish</span> <span m='157400'>I</span> <span m='157450'>would</span> <span m='157580'>have</span> <span m='157700'>known</span> <span m='158280'>going</span> <span m='158600'>into</span> <span m='159090'>education</span> <span m='159680'>administration.</span> <span m='160730'>I</span> <span m='161080'>enjoy</span> <span m='161940'>this</span> <span m='162190'>job</span> <span m='162600'>immensely.</span> <span m='163740'>When</span> <span m='163860'>I</span> <span m='164090'>went</span> <span m='164260'>into</span> <span m='164900'>education</span> <span m='165270'>though</span> <span m='165760'>I</span> <span m='165880'>would</span> <span m='166090'>say</span> <span m='166260'>there</span> <span m='166450'>were</span> <span m='166520'>some</span> <span m='166690'>things</span> <span m='167040'>that</span> <span m='167280'>I</span> <span m='167350'>wish</span> <span m='167490'>I would</span> <span m='167770'>have</span> <span m='167960'>known.</span> <span m='170290'>In</span> <span m='170460'>terms</span> <span m='170820'>of</span> <span m='171500'>the</span> <span m='172490'>workload,</span> <span m='173140'>and</span> <span m='173700'>I</span> <span m='173910'>was</span> <span m='174120'>an</span> <span m='174210'>English</span> <span m='174520'>teacher,</span> <span m='174920'>so</span> <span m='175160'>the</span> <span m='175420'>correcting</span> <span m='175850'>of</span> <span m='175930'>papers</span> <span m='177790'>it</span> <span m='178010'>just</span> <span m='178210'>takes</span> <span m='178550'>an</span> <span m='178920'>incredible</span> <span m='179490'>amount</span> <span m='179760'>of</span> <span m='179800'>time</span> <span m='180170'>to</span> <span m='180860'>lesson</span> <span m='181180'>plan,</span> <span m='181790'>and</span> <span m='181980'>grade</span> <span m='182290'>papers.</span> <span m='182880'>And</span> <span m='183520'>the</span> <span m='183620'>compensation</span> <span m='186390'>doesn't</span> <span m='186640'>really</span> <span m='187000'>go</span> <span m='187450'>along</span> <span m='187900'>with</span> <span m='188080'>the</span> <span m='188180'>amount</span> <span m='188420'>of</span> <span m='188490'>time</span> <span m='188910'>that's</span> <span m='189120'>put</span> <span m='189310'>in,</span> <span m='189460'>especially</span> <span m='190580'>for</span> <span m='191340'>a</span> <span m='191440'>beginning</span> <span m='192100'>teacher</span> <span m='192830'>starting</span> <span m='193330'>out</span> <span m='194490'>on</span> <span m='194600'>the</span> <span m='194700'>wage</span> <span m='195020'>scale</span> <span m='195750'>that's</span> <span m='196030'>dictated</span> <span m='196600'>by</span> <span m='196800'>the</span> <span m='196910'>district</span> <span m='197390'>and</span> <span m='197665'>union's</span> <span m='197940'>collective</span> <span m='198300'>bargaining</span> <span m='198530'>agreement.</span> </p><p><span m='200010'>So</span> <span m='200190'>I</span> <span m='200450'>think</span> <span m='200770'>I</span> <span m='201110'>wish</span> <span m='201240'>I would have</span> <span m='201460'>thought</span> <span m='201630'>a</span> <span m='201860'>little</span> <span m='202020'>bit</span> <span m='202170'>more</span> <span m='202330'>about</span> <span m='202590'>that.</span> <span m='203460'>And,</span> <span m='204700'>for</span> <span m='204870'>me,</span> <span m='205500'>I</span> <span m='205990'>think</span> <span m='206360'>I</span> <span m='206430'>would</span> <span m='206650'>have</span> <span m='206730'>been</span> <span m='207000'>more</span> <span m='207300'>motivated</span> <span m='207820'>by a</span> <span m='208040'>career</span> <span m='208985'>where</span> <span m='209310'>the</span> <span m='209400'>amount</span> <span m='209620'>of</span> <span m='209730'>effort you</span> <span m='210220'>put</span> <span m='210460'>in</span> <span m='211680'>somehow</span> <span m='212060'>equates</span> <span m='212730'>to</span> <span m='213580'>the</span> <span m='213680'>compensation,</span> <span m='214580'>or</span> <span m='214640'>the</span> <span m='214760'>potential</span> <span m='215470'>for</span> <span m='216580'>compensation.</span> <span m='218810'>That</span> <span m='219300'>would've</span> <span m='219480'>been</span> <span m='219610'>a</span> <span m='219650'>motivating</span> <span m='220230'>factor</span> <span m='220590'>for me,</span> <span m='221065'>I</span> <span m='221540'>think</span> <span m='221940'>early</span> <span m='222310'>on.</span> <span m='223170'>I'm a</span> <span m='223640'>very</span> <span m='223940'>hard</span> <span m='224200'>worker.</span> <span m='224630'>And</span> <span m='225020'>I</span> <span m='225080'>put</span> <span m='225340'>in a</span> <span m='225400'>lot</span> <span m='225660'>of</span> <span m='225740'>time</span> <span m='226340'>in</span> <span m='226530'>education.</span> <span m='227980'>And</span> <span m='228090'>I</span> <span m='228160'>think</span> <span m='228440'>I</span> <span m='228510'>would've</span> <span m='228760'>been</span> <span m='229230'>equally,</span> <span m='229700'>or</span> <span m='229830'>even</span> <span m='230030'>more</span> <span m='230250'>motivated</span> <span m='230810'>to</span> <span m='230910'>do</span> <span m='231140'>so,</span> <span m='232400'>with</span> <span m='232700'>a</span> <span m='233160'>compensation</span> <span m='233940'>package,</span> <span m='234500'>whether</span> <span m='234680'>it</span> <span m='234780'>was</span> <span m='234920'>in</span> <span m='235050'>sales,</span> <span m='235650'>or</span> <span m='235840'>as</span> <span m='235990'>part</span> <span m='236230'>of</span> <span m='236330'>team</span> <span m='237250'>in</span> <span m='237910'>achieving</span> <span m='238380'>goals</span> <span m='238730'>that</span> <span m='238940'>way.</span> <span m='239110'>So</span> <span m='239230'>I</span> <span m='239350'>think that's</span> <span m='239620'>something</span> <span m='240000'>to</span> <span m='240100'>consider</span> <span m='241100'>is,</span> <span m='241690'>what are</span> <span m='241930'>your</span> <span m='242030'>motivations?</span> <span m='243340'>How</span> <span m='244230'>are</span> <span m='244740'>you</span> <span m='244920'>fulfilled</span> <span m='245650'>when</span> <span m='245860'>you're</span> <span m='245960'>going</span> <span m='246250'>into</span> <span m='246470'>a</span> <span m='246540'>career?</span> </p><p><span m='248400'>I</span> <span m='248980'>was</span> <span m='249300'>fulfilled</span> <span m='249650'>by</span> <span m='249810'>helping</span> <span m='250200'>others,</span> <span m='250610'>and</span> <span m='251320'>reaching</span> <span m='251670'>students,</span> <span m='252270'>and</span> <span m='252560'>making</span> <span m='252900'>a</span> <span m='252960'>difference,</span> <span m='253470'>but</span> <span m='255710'>those</span> <span m='256130'>ideals</span> <span m='257209'>get</span> <span m='257380'>stripped</span> <span m='257750'>away</span> <span m='257930'>a</span> <span m='258050'>little</span> <span m='258310'>bit</span> <span m='258540'>when</span> <span m='258950'>you're</span> <span m='259360'>paying rent,</span> <span m='259770'>and</span> <span m='260180'>you're</span> <span m='260610'>looking</span> <span m='260930'>to</span> <span m='261010'>buy</span> <span m='261260'>a</span> <span m='261290'>house,</span> <span m='262200'>and</span> <span m='262570'>you're</span> <span m='262960'>looking</span> <span m='263250'>at</span> <span m='263440'>what</span> <span m='263610'>other</span> <span m='263810'>folks</span> <span m='264220'>are</span> <span m='264310'>doing</span> <span m='264660'>that</span> <span m='264840'>you</span> <span m='264960'>graduated</span> <span m='265610'>college</span> <span m='266010'>with,</span> <span m='266410'>and</span> <span m='266730'>their</span> <span m='267060'>pursuits,</span> <span m='267540'>and</span> <span m='268450'>how</span> <span m='268650'>they're</span> <span m='268800'>being</span> <span m='269070'>compensated,</span> <span m='270890'>and</span> <span m='271570'>the</span> <span m='271650'>amount</span> <span m='271890'>of</span> <span m='271980'>work</span> <span m='272210'>they're</span> <span m='272380'>doing</span> <span m='272630'>maybe</span> <span m='273020'>by</span> <span m='273160'>comparison.</span> <span m='273900'>So</span> <span m='274650'>that's</span> <span m='275110'>one</span> <span m='275290'>thing</span> <span m='275480'>that I</span> <span m='275930'>really</span> <span m='276610'>looked</span> <span m='277200'>to</span> <span m='277310'>weigh</span> <span m='277510'>out,</span> <span m='277740'>is</span> <span m='279410'>what</span> <span m='279550'>are your</span> <span m='279650'>motivations?</span> <span m='281080'>And</span> <span m='281470'>how</span> <span m='281755'>do</span> <span m='282040'>you</span> <span m='282160'>want</span> <span m='282300'>to</span> <span m='282340'>be</span> <span m='282730'>rewarded</span> <span m='283600'>for</span> <span m='284130'>your</span> <span m='284290'>efforts?</span> <span m='284710'>And</span> <span m='285060'>what</span> <span m='285430'>potential</span> <span m='286240'>does</span> <span m='286410'>that</span> <span m='286580'>match</span> <span m='286830'>up</span> <span m='287000'>with</span> <span m='287130'>your</span> <span m='287350'>career</span> <span m='288620'>path?</span> </p>","file":{"id":255829,"video_id":"2708339297001","name":"70445831","duration":290347,"thumbnail_url":null}});