What Skills Do You Need to Be a School Secretary?

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One of the first things a teacher learns is to always build a good relationship with the school secretary, because the school secretary is the heart of the school organization. If a teacher needs anything, the first person she will go to is the school secretary, because chances are he will know the answer. Whether seeking help with technology or needing a light bulb changed in the classroom, the school secretary manages it all.

Organization

  • Organization is extremely important to the job of a school secretary. Not only is this person responsible for keeping the administrator's files in top shape in case of audit, the school secretary is often the go-to person for teachers scheduling substitutes, parents returning paperwork and management of paraprofessional staff. The school secretary is keeps the school running. The school secretary also is the person who the finances run through when items are being purchased for the school. Most times, this is the person who enters all purchase requisitions and makes sure all purchases are approved by campus administration.

Communication

  • A school secretary must have good communication skills. She is responsible for communicating with campus staff members, but she must also communicate well with campus administration, district administration, the community, students and their parents. Without good communication skills, there will be information breakdowns in the school's system. The school secretary is often the person responsible for sending out newsletters, emailing campuswide information and even updating the front electronic marquee with pertinent information. The campus secretary must have good telephone skills because, besides taking calls and messages for the school's administrators, she often will take calls from stakeholders of the school.

Computer

  • Nowadays, there are very few jobs which do not require some level of computer skills. A school secretary must have outstanding computer skills. He must be able to use standard word processing and spreadsheet programs. Additionally, he may be required to understand and use a standard desktop publishing program to put out newsletters and campus communications. The campus secretary will be expected to use his computer skills to produce business letters, databases, campus communications and budget reports.

Confidentiality

  • A school secretary must be skilled at keeping confidentiality. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) mandates that all information regarding students being served by the school is protected and kept confidential. The school secretary will be exposed to a wide range of information about students, parents and staff members. The school secretary must understand the rules of confidentiality and be able to keep all information confidential. Nothing that she hears or sees will be discussed outside of the school environment. Additionally, she must not participate in campus gossip, as her position requires that she be able to work with all employees and stakeholders.

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