BEd in Elementary Education Student

Reina Taasan

“I’ve always wanted to pursue an occupation that makes a difference in a person’s life and helps guide the next generation toward a better future.”

Hometown

Waipahu, O‘ahu

Department

Institute for Teacher Education - Elementary

Where do you work?
This fall, I will be teaching third grade at Wai‘anae Elementary School.

How did you decide on Wai‘anae Elementary?
Because of the students, the community, and the leadership. The students stole my heart during my student teaching semester. They taught me a lot and challenged me in ways that I feel helped/will help my growth as a teacher. The community in Wai‘anae is strong and welcoming. I felt a sense of comfort, which stems from the relationships that have been easily built between students, parents, mentors, and staff members. Most importantly, I’ve observed decisions of the leadership that were made (especially during the pandemic) to help their students and to support their teachers.

How did you become interested in the field of education?
I’ve always wanted to pursue an occupation that makes a difference in a person’s life and helps guide the next generation toward a better future.

How has the COE program impacted or benefited your career path?
The COE program impacted my career path by providing many tools, resources, and opportunities to equip me with what it takes to become a teacher. I have learned and grown so much with the help of this program.

Is there anyone in particular who inspired you to pursue teaching as a career?
There isn’t anyone in particular who inspired me to pursue teaching, but it was my experiences with my previous teachers who sparked that love and passion to become someone just like them.

What is your most memorable experience from being a part of the Ka Malu O Kaiona* cohort?
My most memorable experience from being a part of the Ka Malu O Kaiona cohort was building relationships with my classmates, the students, and the teachers. They have made my experience well worth it.

What other work, community organizations, and/or university activities are you involved in?
I work part-time at a restaurant and I’ve opened up my own small business for some passive income.

How has COVID-19 affected your life? What have you been doing to adjust and adapt? What has brought you the most comfort during this time?
I had to adapt to a lot of things due to this COVID-19 situation, whether it was educationally, personally, mentally, etc. Something that has helped me was knowing I am not alone. I found comfort knowing that everyone is going through the same thing, and we’re all in this together.

What are you most excited about for your first classroom?
Something I’m most excited about are the learning experiences that me and my students will go through together. I’m excited to help my students reach their learning goals and to teach them how to learn and grow from their mistakes. I am excited to make mistakes myself and to be that role model who shows them that mistakes do not stop us from reaching our goals.

What are your future visions and goals?
My future goals include continuing to learn and grow as a person and as a teacher. I hope to buy my own place and decorate my home (and classroom!) the way I want to.

 

*Ka Malu O Kaiona is a K-6 elementary cohort in the Institute for Teacher Education Elementary Program coordinated by Dr. Rosela Balinbin Santos. Based in Wai‘anae Coast partner schools with the goal of recruiting future teachers for and from Wai‘anae Coast communities, the program focuses on place-based learning, culturally relevant pedagogy, and community advocacy. Spring 2020 marks the first graduates of the Ka Malu O Kaiona cohort.

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