For our second interview, we visited Los Padres and spoke with Champion In Education Award Winner, Roberto Zamora.

What’s your title and school location?

Teacher, SCESD 

Los Padres Elementary

How many years of teaching?

15 years

What brought you to Salinas City Elementary School District?

First of all, I had the opportunity to visit Los Padres Elementary School while working at a different school district and I instantly noticed that SCESD provided teachers with meaningful opportunities for leadership, curriculum planning, mentoring, academic coaching, technology integration and professional development and that was something that my previous district was lacking.

What keeps you motivated and inspired on a daily basis?

I truly believe that it’s fair to say that being a teacher in today’s world is an enormous challenge. It takes patience, passion, resilience, and a lot of commitment, but my students are the ones that keep me motivated and inspired on a daily basis. As a result, I always try to nurture their curiosity, elevate the expectations for all my students, and in many cases,  I give my students hope where there wasn’t hope before.

What does your award mean to you?

I am both honored and humbled to have been selected as a recipient of the award.  It is a privilege to be counted among so many accomplished and dedicated educators in our district. I am thankful, not only the award itself, but also for the work of SCESD in recognizing, supporting, and encouraging educators. This award also serves me as a reminder that teaching is not just a job for me, but an important part of my life.

What is the most gratifying thing about your job?

There are many things to enjoy about being a teacher. One of the most gratifying things about teaching is the satisfaction of knowing that I am changing 

students’ lives.

Any advice for new educators?

My advice for new teachers is that they need to keep in mind that their first year of teaching is like a roller coaster ride. Along the way they might feel scared, anxious, or overwhelmed. They will need to communicate and collaborate with co-teachers on planning, and assessments because two heads really are better than one! They also need to develop a growth mind-set. Additionally, new teachers need to form positive bonds with students and parents. My last advice for new teachers is that they need to take care of themselves because they will invest insane amounts of time lesson-planning, grading, searching for new curriculum materials and attending to teaching duties.