Robert Carter '06

Major Elementary Education

Favorite Course

Favorite Professor Steve DeGeorge

Robert Carter is a man with a plan. Although he recently graduated in 2006, Robert is already an assistant principal at an elementary school in Northern Virginia. His love for education began in high school on a missions trip to China. While on the trip, the leader got sick and Robert stepped in to help teach. For two weeks he taught everything from baseball to vocabulary. "I grew up in a big family which helped me communicate with kids," Robert explained. "I knew I wanted to be an educator. The question just became: where?"

Robert (in red) as a Bryan student wearing a "Beat
Covenant" shirt and hanging out with classmates
He arrived at Bryan in 2002 and determined to be an elementary education major, even though he would be far outnumbered by females in his major. After his sophomore year, he spent seven months in China teaching English as a Second Language. "I
went with an organization called Bridging the World," he explained. "I taught 8-12 year olds and really confirmed my passion for elementary education in and out of the country."

When he returned to Bryan in the fall of 2005, he went back to his normal extracurricular activities which included serving as a resident assistant and traveling with the Worldview team. "I realized that everyone has a worldview that they carry with them. Worldview was a really important part of my education at Bryan," Robert said.

Christmas 2009: Robert, Elsie, and newborn daughter Cadence
When Robert went home for the summer in 2005, he called up an old friend, who was a principal at a local school, to ask if he would help him practice for his upcoming interviews. "I wanted an upper hand before I came back to Bryan to do my student teaching," Robert said. What started off as a laid-back mock interview in khakis and a polo shirt turned out to be the interview that changed Robert's future. At the end of the conversation, the principal asked if he could arrange for Robert to do his student teaching locally instead of in Tennessee. Dr. DeGeorge approved the position, Robert became an apprentice teacher. "Dr. DeGeorge and I have kept a wonderful friendship and mentorship during my years away from Bryan," Robert said. "During that first year, we talked on the phone every Monday to discuss how my apprentice teaching was going. He really walked alongside me through the whole process."

Robert was an apprentice teacher, he began taking all the tests necessary to get his Virginia teaching license. "
Testing is a huge part of becoming a licensed educator, and I can say with confidence that professors at Bryan College prepared me for the rigorous teacher testing," he said.

Robert easily transitioned from apprentice teacher to full-time teacher at the same school. He also earned a Master's degree in two years, even though he was the youngest person in his administration classes.

During his second year of teaching, Robert became the sixth grade team leader, then science department chair in his third year. These leadership positions gave him the opportunities to write tests and choose curriculum. In March 2009, the assistant principal job opened up and Robert was encouraged to apply. After a multi-tiered interview process, he became assistant principal just three years after leaving Bryan College. His job required him to learn how to run a school building, support teachers, represent the administration staff, interact with parents, and make the right decisions for his students.

He cites former Bryan president Dr. Bill Brown as his example of how to be a good administrator. "When Dr. Brown was president my freshman year, he made it a point to know every student's name within the first six weeks of school," Robert said. "It has been my goal to know every kid's name at my school as well."

After the multiple transitions over the past several years, Robert is ready to settle down and enjoy developing his role as assistant principal. "
I credit Bryan College with preparing me for my career as an educator," he said. "The education professors were in tune with many of the education scenarios that I am dealing with in the classroom even in the public school arena."

Robert married his wife Elsie in 2007, and they have a beautiful daughter named Cadence.