Retired teachers from Hawai‘i Island share their wisdom with UH Hilo teacher candidates

Members of the Hawai‘i Island Retired Teachers Association visited UH Hilo for a “talk story” session with budding teachers. The group has a long history of support for the UH Hilo School of Education.

By Susan Enright.

Retired teachers talk to a student at a "round table."
Retired teachers and students gather at tables to talk story. Click to enlarge.
Michele Ebersole
Michele Ebersole

A group of 15 retired educators from Hawai‘i Island came to the campus of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo on Friday to share with UH Hilo’s teacher candidates their teaching experiences and the wisdom gained from years of service to the profession. The group of retirees is from the Hawai‘i Island Retired Teachers Association, a group with a long history of support for the UH Hilo School of Education.

“There was a total of 519 years of experience in the room that day!” says Michele Ebersole, chair and associate professor of education.

Seven teacher candidates in the UH Hilo master of arts in teaching program shared with the retired teachers their reasons for wanting to become teachers, and the retired teachers in turn shared “pearls of wisdom” with them in a small group “talk story” session.

Colorful sashes sewn by the retirees and used by the candidates at commencement hung in the venue where the group met. For years, the sashes were funded through a poinsettia plant sale the association holds in late November, donating the proceeds to the teacher candidates in UH Hilo’s School of Education.  Candidate cohorts selected a design from Sig Zane and the retired teachers used the money from the plant sale to purchase the material. They donated their time to sew the sashes.

“They did that for about 14 years and now sew lanyards, lei, and baggies with school supplies which are presented to candidates when they complete the first year of the program,” explains Ebersole.

More photos of the gathering

Click photos to enlarge.

Line of retired teachers at the head of the class.
The Hawai‘i Island Retired Teachers Association has a long and supportive relationship with the UH Hilo School of Education. Visiting UH Hilo on Friday, (l-r) Clarita Maneja, Celia Shinoda, Constance Riddle, Elinor Wolff, Joe Tanaka (Yoshiichi), Helen Tanaka, Mati Narido, Lucia Stewart, Marvel Bento, Pearl (Sakamoto) Tanimura, Carol Brown, Rosemary Kawamoto, Marlene Hapai, Lillian Takamura, Randy Hirokawa (dean of the College of Arts and Sciences), and Marion Kittleson-Villanueva. Courtesy photos provided by the UH Foundation.


About the writer of this story: Susan Enright is a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo..

Photos provided by the UH Foundation.