Aloha Kumu Cohort* MEd CS
"I liked the idea of working towards my master's in a cohort where I would have the support of peers like in undergrad."
West Hartford, Connecticut
- MEd, Curriculum Studies: Aloha Aina Education & Leadership
Why the Aloha Kumu Cohort?
I was thinking about getting a graduate degree, but I was not sure of the direction I wanted to go in. My vice principal at the time approached me about this program. She was in the process of finishing her master’s degree with the first Aloha Kumu cohort. I liked the idea of working towards my master’s in a cohort where I would have the support of peers like in undergrad. It was also very appealing that part of the tuition would be subsidized.
What is your current position?
I currently am finishing my 7th year at Waiʻanae Elementary School as a K–2 special education teacher. Next year, I will be moving on to ʻAiea Elementary School as a second grade general education teacher.
What is your philosophy of teaching?
My philosophy of teaching focuses on the idea of students learning through real life situations. I have enjoyed furthering my understanding and knowledge of project-based learning throughout my time in the COE. Students need to utilize 21st century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and communicating to truly become career and college ready in today’s society. I want to provide my students with an educational experience that allows them to learn new skills and apply them in real world situations that are fun and exciting. I want to model questioning and inquiry to my students so that they are curious about the world around them and motivated to learn both in and out of the classroom.
Describe your road to becoming an educator.
It was at the end of high school when I started thinking about going into the education field. While studying at Marist College, a small liberal arts school on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, New York, I noticed a sign in the Department of Education office that advertised “Teaching in Hawaiʻi!” I had never been to Hawaiʻi before, but imagined it would be more desirable than New York in January. During the Spring semester, representatives from the HIDOE came to our campus to interview seniors who were interested in the opportunity. My three friends and I were hired and moved to Oʻahu a month after graduating college! Since then, my friends have slowly left to move back to the East Coast, and I am still here enjoying every second of island life and teaching the keiki here on Oʻahu with no intention of leaving anytime soon!
*The Aloha Kumu Cohort is made up of teachers in Nānākuli, Waiʻanae and Kapolei schools. The focus is on National Board certification and community-engaged scholarship. Please contact Dr. Kimo Cashman at email@example.com for more information.