BEd Student, Dual Licensure in Elementary Education & Multilingual Learning
"I have an amazing cohort... [of] fourteen other people who have my back and are there to make me a better person."
Tulsa, Oklahoma (grew up in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island)
Institute for Teacher Education - Elementary
- BEd, Elementary Education & Multilingual Learning
What program are you enrolled in?
I am in the elementary education program with a dual licensure in multilingual education (EEML).
Where are you currently working?
I recently quit my job as a server and have been working as an A Plus leader with the YMCA. It is something completely different, but I love it and am gaining so much experience working with students in grades K–6.
Did you always know you wanted to become a teacher?
Absolutely not. Both of my parents are teachers and strongly encouraged me to pursue a different field. In high school, I wanted to go into Environmental Studies. It was only after high school and working at a bilingual elementary school in Mexico that I realized I loved working with students.
Why did you choose to pursue a dual licensure program?
Working with students in Mexico and seeing the progress they made in learning English from kindergarten to sixth grade was amazing. I knew that I wanted to be a part of that and help students reach their language goals. Even being a language learner myself, I know how difficult it is to want to contribute to a conversation and not be able to. Being in Hawai‛i, it is especially important to have a knowledge of how to help students be effective communicators in English while continuing to learn and develop their first language.
What are some instructional approaches or strategies you hope to incorporate in supporting the learning needs of multilingual learners?
Knowing that I will have language learners in my classroom, I hope to incorporate strategies focused on group work and opportunities for every student to participate in class discussions or activities. The strategy really depends on the level, but anything that gets them interacting with other students.
What has been the best part of the cohort experience so far?
Everything! I have an amazing cohort, and I love how close we have gotten. We do activities together outside of school and have grown not only as friends and classmates, but also as teachers. There are fourteen other people who have my back and are there to make me a better person.
What are your post-program plans?
I have a lot of ideas floating around, but whichever road I take, a master’s degree is definitely in the picture.