Why This Program Is Important

 Teaching is about connecting the pieces of a puzzle.  Understanding the parents and the underlying cultural issues growing up on Kaua`i can be as important as knowing the child and the material used for teaching.


   Growing Our Own Teachers on Kauai was developed in response to the need for high-quality public school teachers on our island.

  The program allows teacher candidates to gain teaching credentials from the University of Hawaii at Manoa without having to travel off island.  This opens teaching opportunities to many qualified individuals who have families here and cannot afford to move off island for two years to attend UH at Manoa.  In the past when they did make the move, the teacher would. more often then not, end up taking a job on Oahu, never to return.


  Too often, excellent local teacher candidates are unable to finish their university programs because of the financial burden of student teaching. Principals are forced to hire mainland teachers, many of whom have fine training, but do not have cultural understanding of local values and customs, and, moreover, often leave to return to the mainland after one or two years of teaching on Kauai. This lack of continuity and wasted investment in staff development programs strains limited education resources on our island.


There is added cost.  Hawaii DOE spends $112,000 (as of 2001) for each recruited mainland teacher.  Just as the teacher begins to understand the diversity of culture the contract is up.  Retention is difficult.  We believe that teachers with roots here in the islands provide a better learning experience, creates jobs for our citizens and saves the state much needed funds that it would have to pay recruiters.  Our teacher candidates are here for the long run, committed to improving education and understand the students and parents.