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Award-Winning San Francisco Teacher Inspires Kids To Full Potential

With strong economic growth and the nation's highest median income, San Jose is a perfect place to start a career. Among the local job markets enjoying strong growth is education. Nevertheless, the importance of having a strong academic background is the key to finding the most rewarding teaching jobs in the Silicon Valley.

(Photo Courtesy of Jessica Uy)

One local educator who has reaped the benefits of higher education is Jessica Uy, an award-winning mathematics teacher at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale. Recently, she took time out of her busy schedule to share some advice for people interested in pursuing a career in education.

What is your academic background? 

"I grew up going to really excellent public schools in Orange County, California. I went to U.C. Davis, where I earned bachelors degrees in math and American studies, and then to Stanford, where I earned my master's degree in education, with a teaching credential in mathematics. I received National Board certification in 2012. I am a Knowles Science Teaching Senior Fellow, hold a Math for America Master Teacher Fellowship and am a BetterLesson Master Teacher."

What advice do you have for someone interested in becoming an educator?

"The advice I would give to someone interested in becoming an educator would be to find a workplace that allows you to thrive and to keep students--who they are and what they will learn--at the heart of everything you do. If you can find a setting that supports you with mentors, resources and colleagues who care about doing meaningful things for students and their learning, you will likely find a career filled with passion and fulfillment."

What do you love most about being an educator?

"What I love most as an educator is that if you keep doing the right thing for kids--if you really, really listen to them--you can cultivate their sense of curiosity, create safe opportunities for them to take risks, help them overcome disappointments and challenges, shape their beliefs about themselves and others, and give them a sense of what's possible, even if it goes beyond their wildest dreams. Education gives us hope, for ourselves and for our society."

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on

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