November 25, 2021 | Michelle Dzisiak
Maris is an experienced educator who, after working as a substitute teacher for the Hawai’i Department of Education, decided to pursue her full teaching license.
Maris found that an alternative teacher licensure program suited her life better than a traditional route, as she was able to earn her licensure faster and at a fraction of the cost of other programs.
Now in her second year of teaching in her very own classroom, Maris shares how she has developed as an educator since enrolling in the Teacher Certification Program in Hawai’i.
At the end of the school year, you will look back and see how much the students have learned and how much they appreciate your support in their educational journey.
Let’s dive in to hear about Maris’ experience with Teach Away’s Teacher Certification Program in Hawai’i and how it helped her fast-track her way into a classroom of her very own.
What drew you to pursue a full teaching license? Was this a lifelong dream or a new interest?
After earning my Bachelor’s degree in biology, I worked as a substitute teacher. Working with the children was exciting and rewarding. Their curiosity and energy inspired me to become a science teacher and encourage students to find an interest in science.
Why did you decide to take an alternative route to become a licensed teacher instead of the traditional education path?
I decided to take an alternative route to become a licensed teacher because it was convenient, affordable, and would allow me to advance my career faster than the traditional education path.
Has your alternate route to certification been manageable while juggling your other responsibilities?
This alternate route to certification has been manageable. I was able to address work, school, and family needs while completing the requirements of the program.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far?
The most valuable thing I have learned so far is the importance of goal setting, planning, and time management. I have also learned to be flexible and able to adapt to the needs of unexpected circumstances.
Was there a teacher in your life who inspired you? If so, who was it and what impact did they have on you?
I have several Kumu (teachers) who have inspired me. My Hawai’ian language teachers at the high school and university levels were passionate about passing on their knowledge of the Hawai’ian language and culture to be preserved by the next generation of students.
What area of teaching are you specializing in? Why did you choose it?
I am specializing in middle school science. I chose this field because I am passionate about science.
I hope to inspire the next generation of scientists by showing students that science is important and exciting.
Are you currently working in a teaching capacity? If so, could you tell us a little bit about your experience teaching so far?
I am currently in my second year of teaching. My first year involved mostly distance learning. This year is much different with full in-person learning.
Having students in person this year has allowed me to begin to strengthen my communication with students and to modify my lessons to meet the needs and interests of the students.
What is your favorite thing about working with students and/or what is the thing that you’re most looking forward to when you are in a classroom?
My favorite thing about working with students is being around their energy, excitement, and curiosity and watching them develop socially and academically.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about getting certified to teach?
Teaching students in the classroom can be challenging but also exciting and rewarding.
At the end of the school year, you will look back and see how much the students have learned and how much they appreciate your support in their educational journey.full