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SAN JOSE, CA – In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2-6) the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is launching a “Why I Teach” social media campaign to highlight the teaching profession and recruit potential teachers to Santa Clara County. The campaign will feature the 2021 Santa Clara County Teachers of the Year on the SCCOE Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts during peak school staff recruitment time for schools.
“Teaching is a unique and critical profession that allows you to make a difference in a child’s life,” said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools, “Everyone remembers that one teacher that influenced their lives forever. As educational leaders, there is a need to recognize and amplify the importance teachers have on countless lives every day.”
Despite the benefits of a teaching career, for decades the number of recent graduates pursuing a credential program continues to decline. Schools continue to struggle to attract and retain teachers and staff that reflect the diversity of students in Santa Clara County.
“We teach because we care about the communities we serve and we want our students to be agents for change and be able to channel their gifts,” said Sunnyvale School District Teacher of the Year Julio Delgado, one of the teachers featured in the campaign. “They are the future critical thinkers and pioneers for change (and) as a teacher I have the privilege to be a part of that journey with them.”
To bolster recruitment efforts into credentialing programs, the SCCOE hosts a biannual Step into Teaching event in the Spring and Summer. The event, recently hosted in February, provided an opportunity for prospective teachers to learn more about the credentialing process. The next Step into Teaching event will be on August 20, 2022.
There are now more support networks and grant opportunities for candidates than ever before. California students enrolled in a teacher preparation program in a high-need field such as bilingual education, special education and transitional kindergarten may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 through the Golden State Teacher Grant Program. In Santa Clara County, the Earn One, Add One grant provides current school employees to receive their special education credential tuition free. There is also new state funding to expand, strengthen, improve access to, or create teacher residency programs focused on supporting candidates in receiving credentials for transitional kindergarten (TK). The SCCOE is developing a Universal Pre-School, Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten (UPK) Teacher Pipeline that will support potential candidates with the credentialing process and job placement, in addition to matching them with funding sources to earn their credential.
“Educational and community leaders need to work together to build capacity within the educational system by eliminating barriers to entering and sustaining the educational workforce,” said Dr. Dewan, “In addition to eliminating barriers and providing teaching candidates with the support and mentorship they need, there must be a targeted effort to recruit and retain a diverse workforce that reflects the diversity of the student populations.”
With the continued expansion of the SCCOE Educators Preparation Programs like EPIC Educator Preparation Inclusive Classrooms (EPIC) and the Leaders in Educational Administration Program (LEAP), offered through the SCCOE, special education teachers and leaders are prepared to enter the profession with valuable support throughout the credentialing process. Many Santa Clara County school districts also offer new teachers mentor match and induction programs to ensure they have the tools they need to be successful in their first year in the profession.
In addition to the elevated layers of support to new teachers in Santa Clara County, new state legislation is removing barriers to provide more affordable, flexible options for candidates to earn a teaching credential. For more information go to the SCCOE Credentialing Services website. To see the featured teachers in the “Why I Teach” campaign, follow the SCCOE social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube during the month of May.
About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 22 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.
For more information about the Santa Clara County Office of Education, please visit www.sccoe.org and follow us @SCCOE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.