BEd Exceptional Students and Elementary Education (ESEE) Student

Toni Oyama

"It was nice to have that reassurance that this could be the right path for me."


Ewa Beach, HI


School of Teacher Education - Elementary; Special Education

Related Degrees

  • BEd, Exceptional Students & Elementary Education

Why did you choose a merged elementary and special education program?
I chose this program because my dad is a teacher and growing up in class and tutoring his students, I found myself really enjoying being in the classroom. I became interested in special education after helping in a special education classroom. I found it to be a really rewarding experience and learned a lot from the students.

Briefly describe your road to education.
I really wanted to go to the mainland for college, but because of my parents and financial reasons I wasn’t able to go. At first, I was a little upset, but I’ve made the most of my time here and am happy to be here now. I’ve made strong connections and met lifelong friends here.

Who/What have been your biggest influences?
I had influential teachers in high school when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to pursue in college. My English and art teachers were the ones who encouraged me to pursue both English and education. They would push me to do better in school and genuinely believed that I would make a good educator. It was nice to have that reassurance that this could be the right path for me.

What are your plans after you earn your degree?
I’m not entirely sure what my plans are yet. I know I want to go for my master’s, teach in a special education classroom as well as a general elementary classroom. I would also like to do something with my English minor.

I'm interested in learning more about a degree or certificate in Elementary Education.

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