"The job as a special education teacher involves a lot of hard work but the rewards are immense! Seeing students succeed and how you can help families to understand their child's strengths and areas to work on will bring you much joy."
- BEd, Elementary Education
- MEd, SPED: Interdisciplinary
How did you become interested in the special education field?
I have an older brother who was born with mental disabilities, I suppose that contributed to my desire to be a special education teacher. When I was in high school, I worked as a summer hire at Waimano Training School and hospital. At that facility (which no longer exists) I saw a wide range of disabilities from toddlers to seniors. I could see how each resident was unique and could learn in a variety of ways.
What is your philosophy of teaching?
My personal mission statement has been to teach students to be successful at home, at school and in their community.
What types of candidates do you hope/recommend to pursue the BEd Early Childhood & Early Childhood SpED program?
Anyone who has an unconditional love for all students and is willing to learn with an open mind and an open heart.
How does the program best support and prepare its students?
To learn from veteran educators, create/differentiate lesson plans that are standards based, develop behavior plans, learn how to assess student progress and to self-evaluate how they can improve as an educator.
What words of advice would you give to someone looking to pursue this profession?
The job as a special education teacher involves a lot of hard work but the rewards are immense! Seeing students succeed and how you can help families to understand their child’s strengths and areas to work on will bring you much joy.
Briefly describe your own road to higher education.
Every summer since my 7th grade year, I volunteered or worked with children. This helped to solidify my desire to be a teacher. When I started college in the late 1970s, UHM only had a masters program for special education. Thus, I first got my bachelors degree and followed it with a masters degree.
What are your research interests?
Early Childhood, Autism, integrating music into instruction, Brain gym exercises.
What are your goals/future plans?
After 32 years of teaching in the DOE, I retired in 2016 and have been working with UHM since January 2019. Currently, my goal is to improve as an instructor and to pass on experiences and life lessons to my UH students.
What do you like to do outside of education?
I like to write and have published 4 children’s books since 2005 through Beachhouse Publishing. I am involved in children’s ministry and I love swimming, traveling and spending time with family–especially my two grandsons.
Anything else you would like to share?
I am very grateful to UHM for preparing me to be a teacher and to my professors in our college who took a great interest in me personally. It’s an honor to be part of this great profession! Aloha!