There is a saying that those who can, do, and that those who cannot, teach. However, it takes much more than a general knowledge of a subject to be a high-quality teacher. As Houston’s economy grows, the city will be in need of good teachers at all levels with a high-quality education to lead the next generation to success. Teacher Elizabeth Pafford discusses her career in education.
What degree program did you study?
“I studied music and communications in college, but then joined the Teach for America program after graduating, and that’s how I got into education. Now I love it.”
What does your current position entail?
“I am the instructional coordinator/literacy coach for my school. I wear many hats, but in a nutshell I help students with reading intervention, coach new teachers, help with testing and other school programs and anything else my principal needs.”
Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role? In what ways?
“I think the only class that I put to use in my career is public speaking. However, I certainly gained critical thinking and leadership skills at college that I have applied along the way.”
Have you participated in any form of continuing education since beginning this position?
“I was recently accepted into a master’s program at the University of Houston for educational administration and leadership and hope to start this fall.”
Do you have any advice for people who would be interested in pursuing a similar career?
“My principal said once that you are constantly applying for your next job now. If you are an effective employee where you are, you will be more likely to advance. Other than that, I feel so blessed to have many times landed my positions with help of friends’ recommendations. If you love kids and love an ever-changing schedule, you would love my job.”
Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.