Aloha Kumu Cohort* (MEd CS) Student

Chrissie Henning

"Students have needs beyond the classroom, and we should try to meet those needs as best we can."


Kalispell, Montana


Curriculum Studies

Related Degrees

  • MEd, Curriculum Studies: Aloha Aina Education & Leadership

What drew you to your current program?

I was drawn to the Aloha Kumu program for several reasons. I had several coworkers who went through the program and had a great experience. I also was very interested because of the design of the program. Since it is tailored to teachers out on the Waiʻanae Coast, I knew it would be a great fit for me.

What/Where are you teaching now?

I am currently a 10th grade world history teacher at Waiʻanae High School where I have been for 6 years.

What is your philosophy of teaching?

Through the years, my philosophy of teaching has changed and evolved. I believe all students can learn and that we, as teachers, are to empower our students through academics. Teachers are in a special position to promote a love of learning, effective use of “academic tools” and critical thinking, and positive societal contributions.

How do you relate to your students as a teacher?

I love to tell my students stories about where I grew up and how things are different here. Although some teenagers might act like they don’t want to know about their teacher, it helps us relate to our students when we share personal stories. With a good dose of humor, I am open and honest with them. I allow them to be young adults, treating them with respect and dignity. Knowing that my students crave adult attention and approval, I give them as much individual time as I can. I sit and talk with them, sharing likes and dislikes and creating a strong relationship. As teachers, we have to remember that our students are not just pupils, but people who have needs beyond the classroom, and we should try to meet those needs as best we can.

*The Aloha Kumu Cohort is made up of teachers in Nanakuli, Waiʻanae and Kapolei schools. The focus is on National Board certification and community-engaged scholarship. Please contact Dr. Kimo Cashman at for more information.

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