"During my undergraduate work for elementary education, my advisor recommended that I take a special education course to fill an elective. Before the course was over, I added Special Education to my degree program!"
Slate Creek, Idaho
How did you become interested in the field of special education?
During my undergraduate work for elementary education, my advisor recommended that I take a special education course to fill an elective. Before the course was over, I added Special Education to my degree program! I immediately fell in love with philosophy of facilitating student success in multiple facets of their lives. My first job out of college was in special education, and I have never looked back!
What is your philosophy of teaching?
At UH I have witnessed students learn as much about themselves as the curriculum. That is what I value most about education. Curriculum can be taught, and growth can be facilitated. That makes educators both teachers and facilitators. Learning and growing can present challenges, twists, and turns along the way. An educator’s job is to provide a safe, trusting environment with supports that assist students in overcoming those challenges, twists, and turns.
How does the Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Special Education best support and prepare its students?
I did not have the benefit of doing field experience throughout my credentialing program. The fact that teacher candidates at UH have the opportunity to do field work every semester of their program is a huge benefit. They learn course material and immediately have the opportunity to put the knowledge to work in the classroom. Sadly, I believe I lost a lot of content knowledge from the time I took courses and then months later got into the classroom.
What words of advice would you give to people looking to pursue the program/profession?
Classroom teaching is often what one thinks of when thinking of education. In fact, there are many many roles within education. Some people stay in the classroom their entire career because they love it so much. Others find over time that their strengths are better suited for administration, specialties, consulting, higher education, etc. If you aren’t sure what direction you want to go in right now, don’t be afraid to just get started. That’s what I did almost 30 years ago!
What are your goals or future plans?
I plan to continue teaching at UHM as long as possible!
What do you like to do outside of education?
I enjoy photography, travel, and cooking.