Exceptional Students and Elementary Education Student

Kara Nono

“I really like going into different schools and seeing how teachers work in different settings.”

Hometown

Wailuku, Maui

Department

Institute for Teacher Education - Elementary

Related Degrees

  • BEd, Exceptional Students & Elementary Education

Did you always know you wanted to become a teacher?
Actually yes, I have known since I was in elementary school. I didn’t know exactly what grade, but I knew I wanted to be a teacher and a role model.

How did you become interested in the field of special education?
I started working at Pu‘uhale Elementary School as a one-on-one educator, and I just loved it! I had this one student since he was Pre-K, and now he’s going to be in 3rd grade. To know that I made a huge difference in his education and his life means the world to me!

Why did you choose the ESEE program?
I wanted to be dual certified in general education and SPED. With a background in both, it will be more of a help as I become a teacher.

What has been the best part of the program experience so far?
The best parts have been meeting new people and actually getting the hands-on field experience. I really like going into different schools and seeing how teachers work in different settings. It makes the semester go by so fast. Also, I love how during the second semester we are always in a set classroom actually co-teaching with a mentor teacher.

In what ways do you hope to make a difference in the field of education?
As a teacher, I want to be open to all students and accommodate them in ways that other teachers may not be able. I want to find their specialty and ways that I can help them. As a student and a parent, I know what I want my son’s teachers to be like.

How are the people and the program in the COE helping you along your way?
Our cohort coordinators are so supportive. When they first found out that I had a son, they automatically told me they were there for me, that if I needed anything to not be afraid to ask. They want you to succeed. Once you email them, they usually get back to you in an hour. I really like that. All of us in the program have become so close because we’re all in the same boat. We all support and motivate one another. We are all striving for the same thing, so it’s no competition.

What are your post-program plans?
I just want to be a teacher already! I also plan on returning to get my master’s in special education.

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