Every October the Santa Clara County community celebrates the stars of education at the annual Santa Clara County Office of Education’s Teacher Recognition Celebration. These exceptional educators exemplify the impact of the profession in and outside of the classroom.

This more than 50-year tradition emphasizes teachers’ important roles in the greater community. Families place their most precious members in the hands of educators who inspire and motivate their children.

A work of the heart, teaching is so much more than the academic preparedness of students. While subjects such as English, math, science and social studies/ history are taught on a daily basis, teachers make these lessons engaging and memorable, often igniting curiosity and creativity (often called the “ah-ha moments” of learning).

It’s these unique experiences that create lifelong impressions. When people are asked what made their favorite teacher special to them, it’s often heard that they were caring and patient, adjusted their teaching to meet specific needs and so much more.

While there are obvious incentives to becoming a teacher such as scheduling, job stability, and incorporating your creativity into lessons, there are greater benefits. As an educator no two days are the same, each student brings a strength to a classroom, and you learn so much from students just as they will learn from you.

Studies show that when students are taught by quality teachers, there are long-term positive impacts. It’s also important to note the effects of having diverse educators in classrooms – equitable representation fuels student success and improves school culture. In 2022, one in five teachers identified as people of color, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A diverse teacher workforce not only supports a student’s academic, social, and emotional outcomes, it can lead students to consider becoming educators themselves.

That’s why I urge you to consider joining the workforce that fuels all other professions. As a culturally vibrant community, the residents of Santa Clara County have so much to offer current and future students.

Teaching is much more than a job to secure a paycheck. Becoming an educator means making a difference in the lives of children, and shaping them into the adults who will carry lessons with them over a lifetime.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a teacher, the SCCOE’s Educator Preparation Programs can help those interested navigate the credentialing process, a requirement to teach in public schools.