"Mentoring also supports the retention of novice teachers by offering a comprehensive array of supports often needed during the most difficult years of a beginning teacher’s career"
- Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, Special Education (PBSPED)
Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher because I believe in the power of education to transform lives! As a social worker in our corrections system, I quickly discovered that many of our incarcerated adults lacked basic literacy skills. I realized that if I wanted to have a more powerful impact and change the trajectory of their lives, I needed to intervene at a much earlier age to be more effective. As a result, I enrolled as a teacher candidate in the first MEd Felix Cohort at UHM and proudly began a second career as a special educator in our public schools. I am passionate about improving the literacy skills of Hawaii’s children and youth with exceptionalities.
What HIDOE school(s) did you teach at?
Working and teaching in Kalihi, the community I was born and raised in was always a dream of mine. I was so fortunate to have been offered positions at Puuhale Elementary and Kapalama Elementary, both wonderful schools in Kalihi. I have also worked at my alma mater, Dole Middle School, and did my internship at Kalakaua Intermediate.
Any fun facts or hidden talents? What do you like to do outside of mentoring?
I LOVE traveling around the world experiencing new cultures, foods and languages. I’ve visited 15 different countries and try to go somewhere new each year. While at home, I find inspiration while gardening, Japanese flower arranging (Ikebana), volunteering as a reading tutor, and spending quality time with my husband and fur babies.
How many years have you been mentoring?
This is my 12th year as a MUSE mentor and I love the work I do. I can’t see myself doing anything else at this time in my life.
What is your favorite thing about mentoring?
I have many favorite things about mentoring which makes me really excited about what I do! I love empowering beginning teachers to discover their potential to create positive and safe learning environments, teach students to read and write effectively, motivate struggling learners to find meaning in their education, advocate for students and families for equitable access to educational opportunities, and provide inclusive learning opportunities for all students. Mentoring also supports the retention of novice teachers by offering a comprehensive array of supports often needed during the most difficult years of a beginning teacher’s career.
What is your advice to those looking to become an emergency hire?
Taking on an emergency hire position is not for everyone. It takes a lot of effort and planning to successfully juggle being a full-time student and beginning teacher. The on-the-job training is intense and demanding, but if you have the ability to organize, plan, and prioritize, it’s an amazing opportunity to be able to immediately apply what you learn in your coursework to your classroom teaching.