With the new school year starting online, getting to know who your teachers are can be difficult through a screen. The Kalani news writing class decided to interview some of the newer teachers here on campus so students can get to know them better. Caitlyn Yoshina teaches Latin and English at Kalani High School and this year will be her third year teaching.
Ms. Yoshina describes herself as smart, thoughtful, and enthusiastic. She likes to have fun and joke around. She says that growing up she was known as the “funny one” and this motivates her to try and put her students in a good mood.
“I also remember being in classes in high school where I was not comfortable being my bright and sparkly self,” she said. “It’s hard to learn when you’re anxious.”
Ms. Yoshina works hard to make everyone feel welcome and heard.
“Another mission I have is to make sure that my students do feel valued for whatever personalities and behaviors they bring to class, especially if they are not like me,” she explained. “The students who are most like me are automatically going to vibe with me the way I teach, so I try even harder for the ones who are different.”
Now with in-person classes being canceled, her teaching has taken a different turn but she doesn’t believe that online learning has affected her connection with the students in a negative way.
“This might sound strange, but I think that I’ve had better connections with students this year than ever before!” she said.
She established a routine to ensure that all students are talking. All classes start with a question and all students unmute their mics and share their answers.
“I think in the past when I was teaching them face-to-face, I would feel guilty that talking to them about random things would be ‘wasting learning time,’” she said. “So this year I’ve taken that pressure off myself and I think that most of my students actually appreciate being able to talk about whatever.”
Overall, this school year is new and nerve-racking and we aren’t able to see each other or our teachers. But Ms. Yoshina works hard to make everyone in the classroom feel comfortable, whether in-person or online.