Nerves for a New Chapter – Teaching Diaries

As summer vacation comes to an end for my students, things have been slowly returning back to the regular school year schedule…


Work Days

At my current tutoring job, my students have been excited about starting a new school year. Some are excited to start a new year in a brand new school. Some are more than ecstatic to have the teacher they had wanted. Others have been showing off new pencils, erasers, and other school supplies. It brings me joy to see their excitement, and I cannot wait to continue seeing that excitement once the school year begins and the rest of the students return from vacation. I’m just hoping all my students at Maʻemaʻe will know that we’ll be in new rooms this school year…

Volunteer Days

At Mayor Wright Housing, our summer reading program is just about coming to its close. The majority of our students were able to complete the required eight books in order to receive free school supplies, and a large chunk of that group greatly exceeded that amount! The last time I was at the library, all of our summer volunteers and interns have left, and it was back to Ms. Rina, Ms. Ashley, Mr. Alex, and myself. A part of me missed all our extra help, and our library definitely felt emptier without them with us. However, my feelings of longing was quickly overshadowed by the craziness of our students – but then again, when are they not crazy? Hopefully as the new school year begins, I’ll be able to return back to the swing of being one of the only volunteers with all our students!

New Job

My gosh…where do I even begin with this??

When I’m not working, volunteering, doing hula, or doing anything else, all my thoughts and worries have been dedicated towards planning out my first year teaching…and even then, I’ve caught myself multiple times brainstorming ideas for teaching while grading papers at work!

It’s nerve-wracking going into this situation blind. I’ve already have been considered a worrywart from the time I was young, which definitely does not help my situation whatsoever!

Every single day for months had me on a rollercoaster of worries – What will my students think of me? What if they don’t learn anything from me? What if they don’t listen to me? Will I be successful? What if I don’t know what to teach? What if I can’t get my point across? What do I do?! – and these worries never end! It’s frightening knowing what I want to teach and what I want to cover, but yet being unsure on how to approach different topics with students ranging in different ages.

The comforting thing is that people have been talking to me and giving me advice and suggestions when approaching this first year of teaching. It’s been so lovely especially talking to friends and people who have just come out of teaching their first year and knowing that what I’ve been feeling has been completely normal. It’s great to know that I’m not alone on this new journey, and that I’ll always have people to support me in all my rocky moments this upcoming school year.

As my first day of this new chapter begins tomorrow with an orientation meeting, I’ll utilize these nerves and unsureness and channel them as excitement, especially once I begin working with my students next week. As I am starting this journey with a clean slate, I’ll keep reminding myself that my students are also starting this journey with me with a clean slate and little to no knowledge of Hawaiian culture, history, and language. Should I feel like I’ve failed them in teaching a topic, getting my point across, or even getting them to keep their attention on me, I’ll will not beat myself up over this – something I’ve been struggling with for so long! Failure is key in finding ways to success. It allows for room to improve in inadequate areas. In order for me to grow as an educator, I must be willing to fail at times and learn from my mistakes.

At the end of the day, I need to keep reminding myself that God put me on this path for a reason. There must be a reason why I was given this opportunity to teach when I feel so unprepared. The only thing I can do now is to just follow this path and do the best that I can for both my students and myself, and I cannot wait for the new school year to begin!

Me ke aloha,



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