For some LEF honorees, teaching has been a lifelong dream.
But for others, like L. J. Alleman's Jason Muller, it's something they stumbled upon.
Muller has been teaching American history for the last 10 years. But it is not something he was expecting to do.
"I started substitute teaching just for income," he says. "One thing led to the next and then I found I liked it"
For Muller, becoming a LEF Teacher Award Finalist was a complete shock.
With so many worthy teachers, he says the nomination is an indescribable honor.
"I can't even put words to it, it's an honor for sure."
A business finance major in college, Muller fell in love with teaching American history while subbing.
And while history may be boring for some, Muller says his 7th grade students have learned to share in his enthusiasm. Becoming invested in the past to create a better tomorrow.
"It's a privilege and an honor to teach kids the history and also about citizenship because they will be the next generation to run this country," he says.
Muller's lessons incorporate a lot of props to help the stories of the past come to life.
His belief is that becoming the lesson is a lot better than just reading the lesson.
"You let them wear a hat, and it's like gold," he says.
And win or lose, Muller says that being a finalist is just as special. It affirms that what he's done in the classroom every day is what he was meant to do.
The Lafayette Education Foundation Teacher Awards ceremony takes place Wednesday, January 29 at the Heymann Performing Arts Center.
The cost to attend is five dollars for students and teachers and ten for all other guests.
Tickets can be purchased at the Heymann Center box office or through Ticketmaster .