Bachelor of Elementary Education Student
"I love that the program provides students with four semesters of field experience. There is no better way to learn how to be a teacher than to actually experience being a teacher."
Albuquerque, New Mexico (born), then Maui, Big Island, O’ahu
Institute for Teacher Education - Elementary
- BEd, Elementary Education
Where do you work?
I am currently working at Honda Educational Learning Partners (HELP), a private tutoring center. I tutor children ranging from preschool to high school, which adds value to my work because it provides me the opportunity to learn about children at all different levels. Each student has something to teach me about who I am as a teacher.
Did you always know you wanted to become a teacher?
Becoming a teacher was never something that crossed my mind until I was about 24 years old. I was unhappy with my career at the time. I knew I wanted to do something more fulfilling, but I did not know what career path I should embark on. I began realizing that my happiest moments were when I was around children. As time passed, teaching became something I knew I had to do. At the age of 26, I began my first day of college. Four years later, I am only two semesters away from earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a teaching certificate.
Why did you choose to pursue the ITE elementary education (ITE EEP) program?
I chose the elementary program because I knew I wanted to work with primary age children. In addition, it’s a very unique program in that it requires students to complete all general education requirements first. This provides students with the greatest opportunity to focus and dive deeply into their field of study. I was also very drawn to the idea of being in a cohort.
What has been the best part of the cohort experience so far?
Being in a cohort is not a typical college experience, but I truly feel that it is the best type of college experience. It’s a terrific way to make professional connections and personal friendships. I love that, after the first day of class, I will know every person in every class that I take until I graduate. I could not ask for a better support group than my cohort coordinators and my fellow classmates.
What impact did the Honolulu Museum of Art Linekona Lending Collection have on you as a teacher candidate (ITE 322 Elementary Social Studies class recently went on a learning journey to the museum)?
The lending collection is a gem of a resource that provides teachers with artifacts from all over the world, which they can take into their classrooms. I think it is so important to make learning as realistic as possible, and this is a great way to connect students with content and the world around them. These artifacts are a perfect way to make learning come to life.
How are the people and the program in the COE helping you along your way?
The people and the program in the COE are a tremendous support in my journey to becoming a teacher. My cohort coordinators always go above and beyond to assure my success in the program and my future as a teacher. I feel like they care about me not only as a professional, but also as a person. They also provide rich classroom experiences, making it easy to transfer what I learn in my classes into my classroom where I am a teacher candidate. As for the elementary program, it is very well designed and organized. I love that the program provides students with four semesters of field experience. There is no better way to learn how to be a teacher than to actually experience being a teacher.
What are your post-program plans?
Ideally, I would love to teach 3rd grade or higher elementary. I like that students in the upper grades are more autonomous than the lower grades. Also, I prefer the content of the upper grades because it allows me to connect with my students on a deeper level through the conversations we have.