MEd in Curriculum Studies Alumna

Kathy Bruce

“As career teachers, my parents instilled the importance of a quality education in my siblings and me for as long as I can remember.”


‘Aiea, HI


Curriculum Studies

Where do you work?
I work at the Leeward District Annex, serving as the Pearl City-Waipahu Complex Area Comprehensive State Literacy Grant (CLSD) Coordinator.

How did you become interested in the field of education?
My parents were both career high school English teachers, so I grew up being influenced by strong educators. My parents definitely nudged me toward the path of becoming an educator, as they saw my personal strengths lending themselves to being a strong teacher. I’ve always fostered a growth mindset in almost everything that I do. Whether it was sports, academics, or teaching, I always went in with the attitude that I was never the best and that I always needed to be open to new learning experiences to better myself. Teaching was the same. In my first couple of years of teaching, I’d been labeled as a “good teacher.” But, there were many things that I felt like I was flying blind in, and I felt a deep professional responsibility to further educate myself to serve my students, both present and future, to the best of my ability.

How did you become interested in curriculum studies?
As a child, I grew up with reading as one of my absolute favorite hobbies. As a teacher, it deeply saddened me when children told me that they “hated” reading. I quickly saw the correlation between students who had difficulties reading with the extreme dislike of reading. All I knew at that moment in time was that I needed to help these students, but I had no idea how. Shortly thereafter, I decided to apply for the COE Curriculum Studies program.

How did the COE program impact or benefit your career path?
I am a firm believer in ongoing professional development and keeping current with research. On a personal level, doing the reading and the research, and then translating theory into practice was extremely powerful. I’ve experienced the power of intentional and informed classroom instruction that is grounded in research first hand. I attribute this powerful experience to the COE, and it has highly impacted my teaching practice since.

Is there anyone in particular who inspired you to pursue teaching as a career?
As career teachers, my parents instilled the importance of a quality education in my siblings and me for as long as I can remember. I heard the stories of how they’ve helped their students learn and grow, and I knew innately that this was something I would enjoy too.

What are your future visions and goals?
My vision for this grant is for schools to provide systematic instruction in foundational reading skills to support young readers and to develop the knowledge and capacity of teachers to determine and provide the interventions or supports that struggling students so desperately need to close the achievement gap. My personal goal is to fully immerse myself in the rich learning experiences I will be afforded through this grant. I’m not sure what my future has in store for me, but it will be in a role where I continue to learn and grow as an educator.

Anything else you would like to include?
Always embrace the growth mindset. Learn something from every professional development and apply it in your classroom. Know that the learning never stops, and our students deserve the most highly qualified, knowledgeable teachers to impact their learning and their lives. Every year, you have an opportunity to impact the lives of your students, so be the best you can be!

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