Rachel Wagner, Bachelor of Elementary Education Student

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Rachel Wagner
“In a place as linguistically diverse as Hawai‘i, I chose to pursue a degree in elementary and multilingual education in order to better provide pedagogically for our students who speak English as a second language.”
Hometown:

Kapolei, HI

Department:

ITE

Degree:

BEd Elementary Student

What program are you enrolled in?
I am a BEd student in the Dual Licensure in Elementary Education & Multilingual Learning (EEML) program.

Did you always know you wanted to become a teacher?
Teaching came to me as I began to learn more about myself and my desire to make a positive impact on the community. I always knew I wanted to work with children, but the context in which I would do this solidified once I experienced the courses offered here at the College of Education. After the EEML dual licensure pathway was announced, I knew it was the program for me.

Why did you choose to pursue this program?
Growing up on the west side of O‘ahu, I was immersed in a community rich with both culture and language all my life. Language and multilingualism in particular was something I always viewed as an asset, as a way to communicate and connect to people, culture, family, and history. In a place as linguistically diverse as Hawai‘i, I chose to pursue a degree in elementary and multilingual education in order to better provide pedagogically for our students who speak English as a second language.

How will you support the learning needs of multilingual learners?
I plan to support my multilingual learners through providing engaging, hands-on, and collaborative learning experiences that not only assist in their English language acquisition, but also offer opportunities to practice and preserve their home language as well. I hope that in celebrating language and relaying to students the value in their unique knowledge, it helps to foster a sense of pride and ignite a desire to learn.

What has been the best part of the cohort experience so far?
Being a part of a cohort is like being a part of a family. I have made incredible friendships through my time in the EEML program that I know will be lifelong. Learning and experiencing this program alongside my peers has allowed us to form such a strong support system. Knowing that there are 14 other people going through the same thing you are, and knowing that they’re there should you need them, is so comforting.  Our cohort coordinators have also been an excellent source of knowledge and guidance, and they ensure that we’re making positive strides in our journey to becoming teachers.

Your cohort was recently featured in a Honolulu Museum of Art Facebook post. How will that learning journey impact your own classroom?
Visiting the Honolulu Museum of Art was a wonderful experience that opened my eyes to the unique resources available to the educators of Hawai‘i. Seeing and handling the artifacts offered at the Lending Collection allowed me to explore different cultures and time periods all in one place. These are artifacts that I plan on using to supplement my lessons across the curriculum while ultimately bringing a global perspective into the classroom.

What are your post-program plans?
After I complete the EEML program, I plan to teach on the west side of O‘ahu and eventually pursue a master’s degree in education.