With so many recent changes to education in Texas – including the redesign of the SAT and new graduation requirements for high school seniors – it is an exciting time to pursue a career in the education field. Nathan Barber discusses how his own education has helped him to reach a successful career as an administrator.

(Photo Courtesy of Nathan Barber)

(Photo Courtesy of Nathan Barber)

What degree program did you study?

“After teaching a variety of history and social studies courses for a number of years, I went back to school and earned a Master’s in Education from Baylor.”

What does your current job entail?

“I’m the Head of Upper School at Second Baptist School here in Houston. I oversee all operations of the Upper School, including recruitment, hiring and retention of faculty and staff; teacher observation and evaluation; curriculum and instructional supervision; professional growth for faculty; budget management; vision casting for our expectations of students; and supporting the vision and mission of our school.”

Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a similar career?

“First and foremost, a teacher who desires a career in educational administration should work hard for a minimum of five to 10 years as a classroom teacher. The importance of the classroom experience cannot be overstated. Second, they will be best served by an advanced degree in educational leadership, educational administration or curriculum and instruction. Third, a teacher who may be interested in making the leap from the role of classroom to school administrator would do well to find an administrator who can serve as a mentor and coach, and who can look for ways to give the teacher some leadership opportunities. Finally, a teacher who desires a career in educational administration should read voraciously. Books on education and education reform, teaching and learning, creativity, leadership and management, technology and other education-related topics would be very beneficial for a teacher who wants to pursue a career in educational administration.”

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.