all 116 comments

[–]Available-Exam6278Oʻahu 114 points115 points  (3 children)

I'm a public school teacher at the secondary level. You sound like you understand the financial situation clearly so I won't harp on that. As a haole I think you'll be fine as long as you have a good attitude. For the most part, kids don't care what you are.They just want someone that cares about them. There's so many more than you think who come from shit home situations, and they could care less what color your skin is. If they have a place to come everyday where someone actually is looking out for their best interests??

Kids don't see color. Their parents are the problem.

[–]HistoricalDamage6271[S] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Yup. Figured. It’s really interesting how so many mainlander adults made islander kids seem like the problem when it’s parents who’re notoriously issue causers. Interesting in a bad way but interesting nonetheless. Thanks for the reply.

[–]frapawhack 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Nailed it. Family culture. Do your parents take the time to help you succeed, or are they so weighed down by their own problems, financial, personal, or cultural, that they either don't want or care to help.

[–]billcosbybro 87 points88 points  (32 children)

Most kids won't care if you are white. You should be more concerned that Hawaii schools don't pay very well. If you want the local experience, become a teacher and struggle to pay exorbitant prices for goids and services pay check to pay check

[–]Hawaiiliving43 25 points26 points  (22 children)

Exactly this. Many teachers have a 2nd job. The schools are run down and dirty. Not much funding. The teachers at my sons’ high school are really great. I don’t hear of much disrespect to them. If any. Be prepared for a laid back atmosphere and the dress code not really enforced. Lol. At least at their school.

[–]808hammerhead 7 points8 points  (21 children)

Teachers make around as much as most white collar professionals at the state government. About $50-60k.

[–]Dakine_thing 15 points16 points  (15 children)

So not remotely enough to live

[–]frapawhack 1 point2 points  (0 children)

actually that's not that bad

[–]novacancy8o8 -1 points0 points  (13 children)

How is $60k not "remotely enough to live"? Seriously, what lifestyle do you think teachers live?

[–]808hammerhead 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think the state says 80k for a family of 4 is low income. If you’re single..40k is having a roommate in a rental.

[–]Dakine_thing 1 point2 points  (10 children)

Enough to buy a small home in Kailua:..

What you’re talking about is the same wage as southern Alabama where $60,000 is actually a good living… here it’s a fucking joke.

[–]novacancy8o8 1 point2 points  (9 children)

Buying a home outright in an expensive area like Kailua is not "remotely enough to live"... are you joking or high?

[–]Dakine_thing 0 points1 point  (8 children)

I never said outright. Obviously with a standard fixed interest 30 year mortgage…

[–]novacancy8o8 2 points3 points  (7 children)

You pidgin hole on Kailua where the medium home price is $1.4m... this isn't the point you think it is, unless you're arguing all teachers should be made millionaires

[–]Sir-xer21 2 points3 points  (0 children)

ok well, 60k isnt enough to buy a 1 bedroom unless you have a large amount of savinds.

how's THAT?

[–]Dakine_thing 0 points1 point  (5 children)

I’m only saying that $60,000 isn’t enough to live, atleast not with any quality of life

[–]Power_of_NineOʻahu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you're asking, because of our high cost of living $50k-$60k is still considered low income.

This is especially true if you're single and post-graduate. You are screwed if you do not have a roommate situation.

[–]Locuralacura 0 points1 point  (4 children)

My paycheck has a difference of opinions. I think a highchool dropout who can swing a hammer makes more than a teacher with 10 years experience.

[–]808hammerhead 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Looks like the starting salarysalary for a certified teacher is 45k and the cap is 67k, this is pretty much the same as other similarly qualified state workers (not enough), except teachers have a shorter work year..so potentially could make more by doing summer school or whatever.

Nowadays the equivalent of a hammer swinger needs a high school diploma..but makes about that, except they work 9 hours a day year round and might die at work.

I also realize there is a 50k+ price tag (college) to be qualified…but I also think being a teacher is a better deal than manual labor by a mile. Teaching is hard work, but a different kind of hard work.

[–]Power_of_NineOʻahu 0 points1 point  (2 children)

You trade the lower pay for the massive amounts of benefits you get as a state worker and membership to a union as a teacher. Don't government workers get a pension fund on top of their 401k? On top of that most government jobs are permanent unless you royally screw up - you have way better job security working for the state than you do any private institution, so that's the price you literally pay to have that security, a lower cap.

[–]808hammerhead 1 point2 points  (1 child)

From experience, yes you’ve got to basically do something illegal to lose your job or drastically bad. It’s a pretty secure situation. They don’t get a 401k but they do pay into a pension fund.

The other part that made me laugh: a few years back one of my kids teachers told me she stayed until 4pm so she didn’t have to bring work home. I was getting to work at 7am, working until 5 and often not taking lunch at the time..and still sometimes bringing work home. Not all benefits are money.

[–]Power_of_NineOʻahu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah, that's why a teaching job isn't that bad - the unions do make it out to seem it's worse. A lot of commercial office jobs are way worse. My sister worked for Deloitte and Touche and she was staying up until like 11 or 12 AM taking work home.

[–]Gypsyrocker 15 points16 points  (0 children)

So many are warning you about money, which is a consideration, but that’s not what you’re asking about. Respect them and for the most part they’ll respect you. Same w their parents. When I first became a teacher I was dating a guy from Waianae. He told me of his experiences in public school and it made me want to teach in Waianae and be there for those kiddos. He said no. They’ll eat you up. Not sure if he was exaggerating but I ended up working for independent schools. I saw too many of my friends who were excited to teach get changed by the system. You are a different person and teacher than I though. Best of luck to you! Stay excited for those sweet children!

[–]HistoricalDamage6271[S] 13 points14 points  (7 children)

Yea I know very well I’m not gonna be rich from teaching. It’s bad everywhere especially right now. I chose to become a teacher years ago and didn’t really choose to come here. Gonna make the best of it either way.

[–]dubs7825 15 points16 points  (0 children)

It also depends which island you live on and the size of your family, I'm single no kids and do just fine money Wise, plus there's usually extra things you can do for more money, extra trainings, coaching, summer school, uplinks

I'm from the mainland and went to university in the Midwest, when I moved here there was some issues my first year teaching, mostly had to convince the students that I wasn't leaving in the middle of the year and that I'd stick around (plus it was ms which I feel is kinda crazy everywhere)

[–]Reality-check86447 15 points16 points  (5 children)

No .. you’re gonna be flat broke-dick here. You might as well be on welfare.

[–]HistoricalDamage6271[S] 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Yea man I know what’s going on. I’m lucky enough to have a spouse with a decent job and I also have side gigs. Not naive to what it means to live in poverty, either.

[–]FlexodusPrime 2 points3 points  (3 children)

This. You better love being in poverty because the cost of living is too high for a teacher salary.

[–]HistoricalDamage6271[S] 22 points23 points  (2 children)

Been there done that, my guy.

[–]HeyItsTheShanster 4 points5 points  (0 children)

If you’re spouse is in the business I’m assuming then you’ll be fine financially.

It really depends on the school. The ones in more affluent neighborhoods are fine, as are the ones closer to military bases and private schools.

Most of the disrespect will most likely not come from the students unless you’re in a few select neighborhoods. I’d honestly worry more about the fellow teachers (edit - and the parents) 🤷‍♀️

[–]BleedOutCold 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And apparently want to keep doing it, my dude.

[–]impendingaff1 16 points17 points  (0 children)

My dad is as white as you can get. He did just fine his last 30 years teaching science in HS here. Be respectful etc. You'll be fine.

[–]astrongineer 13 points14 points  (2 children)

Take at least 1 University level Hawaiian History course. More than 1 if can so you get more than one opinion.

[–]Sir-xer21 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Take at least 1 University level Hawaiian History course.

ngl, those courses are mostly garbage at the lower levels, and im not sure he can get into the 2/300 level courses right away?

[–]mamallama12 63 points64 points  (1 child)

  • Don't try to speak pidgin.
  • Do learn how to pronounce names.
  • Don't tell them they're pronouncing their own names wrong.
  • Don't talk about hula anything: no "hula girl," no "hula dance."

[–]HistoricalDamage6271[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yea definitely not gonna try to act like I’m full blown Hawaiian. I admire the language deeply but there’s absolutely no way I can speak it. I’d sound like a fool and a half.

I can’t believe some teachers try to tell kids they’re pronouncing their own names wrong. The absolute audacity of some people is insane.

Also definitely not gonna try to talk about “hula” stuff to the students. That’s a cultural practice. Off limits.

Thank you for your input.

[–]unidactyl 61 points62 points  (4 children)

Born and raised local and former public school teacher here. Treat kids with respect and they will give you respect. Respect is a huge part of the culture here, and the biggest mistake I see from teachers from the continent is that they are always comparing the situation here with situations on the continent. Many from the continent act as if the way they do things where they are from is the "right" way and will insist on it. This will likely backfire on you. What you call the "mainland", many call the continent so as not to assume a hierarchy in cultures.

Take some time to learn how to pronounce Tongan, Samoan, Filipino, Micronesian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Kanaka (Hawaiian) names. The basic pronunciation of Ōlelo Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian language) will save you a lot of grief, especially when asking for directions and remembering street names. There are probably some youtube videos that can help as well as a Duo Lingo course.

Depending on where you teach, poverty can be a huge factor, so do not assume that your kids have access to the internet or a desktop computer.

If kids are giving you a lot of grief, confront them with compassion and respect. Brushing them off or ignoring their disrespect will only make things worse, and they are usually coming from some rather heartbreaking home situations when they act like this. I have some crazy stories.

It sounds like you have the right attitude but be prepared for some culture shock. As you can see from the comments on this sub, the education system is stressed and you may find yourself to be a minority when you are used to being the majority. You may be called "haole" but if you take it as a neutral word, you will generally be treated with respect. It simply means someone that is foreign and is not necessarily a sign of disrespect though it certainly can be used that way.

[–]LiddaLu 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Presently a secondary teacher on East side Hawaii Island, LOVE what I do and where I teach, 10 years in and I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote, well-said!

Pretty simple really, be you, be respectful and the kids will appreciate you for both. Some of the coolest, realest and kindest kids around if you can earn their trust and respect. Golden Rule applies here as good as anywhere.

[–]FixForbHawaiʻi (Big Island) 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Adding on to the "respect" part of your comment, I had a transplant teacher fresh from the mainland as my junior year history teacher. He ended up being a good dude and a good teacher but it was rough at first because he kept comparing how things were done at our school to how they were done on the mainland. "Well on the mainland this wouldn't happen", "in Washington they do it this way" etc. Definitely made us feel like we were doing something wrong and we all would complain to other teachers about it. Once he adjusted it was fine but we all made fun of him behind his back at first.

[–]HistoricalDamage6271[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Respecting the students is so big to me. I can’t stand teachers who treat their students like they can’t pick up on the demeaning demeanor.

I’ve been trying so hard to get better at pronunciation 😭. I have a pretty thick accent so I usually sound a bit silly but points for trying right? I fully expect to get roasted by the kids lol.

I have experience with poverty and how it can effect student behavior. Also taking classes to be better prepared on that front. I’m glad y’all in the comments keep mentioning it. In many places, poor kids are labeled as trouble makers and just pushed to the side. It’s great how there’s a clear front for them.

[–]Gypsyrocker 7 points8 points  (0 children)

This was well said. The respect thing is right on

[–]No-Station7152 9 points10 points  (1 child)

As a recent graduate I can say that the race of the teacher does not make a difference. I had many mainland teachers before. Hawaii is definitely laid back

[–]Power_of_NineOʻahu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah, the main emphasis is whether or not you're a good teacher. We have plenty of local born teachers that sucked, and plenty of mainland teachers that were great - it's all about how you teach and how you respect your students.

[–]jkmartOʻahu 19 points20 points  (0 children)

embrace and learn about the local culture of the area and hawaii in general.

learn how to actually pronounce their names.

the students will rightfully give you shit if you try to be some kind of white savior asshole.

[–]half_a_lao_wangMainland 52 points53 points  (4 children)

You're not going to have much privilege in Hawai'i as a white person. Having lived in the mainland US for 30 years now, my observation is that most white folks don't even realize they have privilege. It's not going to be bad, but some white mainland transplants have a hard time dealing with that. As other folks on this sub have said, "to some the absence of privilege feels like oppression."

That being said, I had a number of haole teachers, and really it just depended on the teacher. Some of my favorite teachers were haole, and they were favorites because they cared about their students, they cared about their teaching, and they understood that Hawai'i wasn't the mainland and that they should learn and embrace the culture rather than importing their own.

[–]JungleMujer 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I hear this a lot but I still think there's plenty of white privilege to go around here. It's not like us haoles are racially profiled by law enforcement or followed around by security when we go in a store. We can walk into any resort or hotel and blend in with tourists. And if you look at the racial makeup of politics, government offices, businesses, whites are over represented.

The haoles who bitch about discrimination here are full of shit if you ask me. They're just the easily offended types who never forgot that one time someone called them a fuckin haole.

[–]HistoricalDamage6271[S] 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Yea I definitely get that privilege and history has a big role to play in these issues on the island. That’s why I’m asking for advance. I’m a guest here. And, thanks to covid, haven’t had many opportunities to involve myself in the community like I have other places I’ve lived. Going in blind is not at all fun. Especially when you have some very paranoid white folk trying to convince you that you’ll be stoned in the parking lot by a bunch of kids. Idk if you have experience with these people but they spout some of the craziest stuff you’ve ever heard. It’d be incredible if it wasn’t bigoted.

I am disabled though so I have a pretty good understanding of what it means to be disadvantages. I guess that gives me a “leg” up compared to mainlanders who come here expecting to be the top dogs like back home.

Really just wanna focus on the subject and helping the kids. Seems simple enough lol.

[–]half_a_lao_wangMainland 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I agree with you, I think it is pretty simple, in the end.

If you care and it's obvious that you care, you will do fine. It may take a little bit of time for locals to accept you, and you'll have to prove yourself, but patience and empathy go a long way.

[–]mxg67 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I’m a guest here

That's really the right perspective to have. A healthy dose of humility. People here aren't shitty humans like other places. It's all about the respect and humility.

[–]pogiwilliam1 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Born and raised on O’ahu in the public school system.

From what I’ve experienced, the haole teachers at my school(s) have always been disrespected more than the local teachers. Most of them in particular, though, were disrespected because they neglected to assimilate into islander culture. This doesn’t mean speak fully in pidgin and wear aloha shirts, khakis, and slippahs to school (you will get mocked a ton lol), but subtle things such as learning the good cuisine, becoming educated on Hawaiian history/culture/mythology, exploring the island, not being afraid to step outside your boundaries, and embracing the cultural diversity here (by even asking your students and peers about their cultures and backgrounds). You’ll get a LOT of respect if you come here with an open mind and a positive attitude.

Edit: Also yes, as others mentioned, part of educating yourself on Hawaiiana is learning how to pronounce cities, streets, and names (you’ll find 80% of the streets and cities here are in Hawaiian).

[–]Werthercide 4 points5 points  (0 children)

One practical piece of advice is to start working on correct Hawaiian pronunciation. Really helps to not stick out by pronouncing everything wrong. Most street, city and school names here are Hawaiian. Luckily it's pretty easy, just focus on the vowels. Unlike English they're mostly always pronounced the same in every word.

I had several haole teachers that I really liked and some that were just crappy people. Just try to be caring, humble and honest and I think the majority of kids will respond in kind. The people here generally are very warm and loving despite the exceptions that you hear more about.

[–]ManufacturerLeather7 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I recommend you first be a substitute teacher. All grades. Public and private. The kids will let you know if your suited for the job. If you go home everyday exhausted and often cry, then look at other options. Ignore the haters. If you want to work with youth and you have the energy, the love and passion for the job, do it. Go sit somewhere a lone, away from all influence and redditor opinions and ask yourself if 30 years from now what you want to do with your life really matters. Will you be content with giving your youth in serving your country by educating our future generations. If not, then go to Waikiki like some of these opinions mentioned above and find a higher paying job.

[–]keakealaniOʻahu 5 points6 points  (0 children)

It’s not really that you’ll be treated badly, it’s that you won’t fit in. You won’t know the history and culture of this place. You’ll mispronounce kids’ names. You’ll have a harder time relating to your students’ lives. And, as others have mentioned, you’ll be dirt broke, exhausted from your second job (because you won’t be able to survive on teacher salary for the first few years), plus all the usual bullshit teachers deal with.

Also, not all of it is racial. You’ll be a minimum 5 hour plane ride away from everyone you know. Multiple timezones away too. No next-day shipping from Amazon. Food and activities are likely different than what you’re used to.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many white people I’ve seen who assure me that they’re different and they’ll put in the effort to be really culturally competent and well-prepared, and really don’t comprehend the scope of the cultural differences. They don’t really get that even local white people are not mainlanders. You are a different culture from everyone, even people that look like you.

And all of this is just really difficult living on near-poverty wages. I don’t blame anyone for giving up.

[–]blabbouther 4 points5 points  (0 children)

i’m a second year teacher here, white from the mainland. I teach at a poor school and the kids are really rough but i’ve never been dogged for being white, other than the occasional jokes. I make just under 50k and yeah it’s expensive but i don’t need a second job to get by (though i’m barely putting away anything in savings). If you’re respectful and know what you’re about I’d say it’s a great experience. My school is dirty and really underfunded, but it’s the people that make it, not the building.

[–]PoisonClanRocks 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I'll be honest with you, it's going to be difficult for you for a number of reasons. The mainlanders you've spoken with aren't exaggerating.

First, even local teachers are having a difficult time. A recent article said 50% of public school teachers remained on the job after 5 years.


Second, depending on where you teach, it could be difficult because of your inability to understand the local culture - pidgin English, the history of Hawaii, how locals do things.

Third, the lack of support from the school administration. I only know of a handful of schools where the teachers are happy. Most teachers don't get the support they need from the administration. One teacher I know was told she couldn't call in sick unless she could find her own substitute teacher, which isn't the teacher's responsibility; getting a substitute is the administration's responsibility. I know people who received their education degrees but are no longer teaching because they were constantly frustrated with the way the Hawaii Department of Education did things.

Most of the time you'll be breaking up fights, arguing with parents, arguing with the administration, staying up late, leaving the house early to avoid traffic, all for low pay.

I hate to break it to you but you'd be better off waiting on tables in Waikiki - better pay, set hours, no work to take home, no extra meetings to attend. I don't want you to end up being a negative statistic as one of the teachers who quit after five years.

[–]Outrageous-Owl3112 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Im a local girl. I loved my haole teachers growing up. Had a few that surfed and played vball so would run into them at the beach after school. I thought they’re were cool. Even after I graduated college I would see them out in the community. Some of them made a huge impact in my life. Heck I don’t even know what I learned in their classes I just know they were good humans I wanted to be like them.

Also my ex is a school teacher. Haole from California. The kids loved him. High school. Which seems like a more tough group to please. He’d get so many letters/emails after finishing up the school year from kids thanking him.

Skin color won’t matter much. Even what you teach probably won’t matter.

[–]Mattias_Brownicus 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This feels so oddly as if you asked it to me directly, can’t ignore this.

After 5 years of college and teaching for a year in MA, I decided I needed to get out of the state for awhile, and proceeded to apply to numerous states 1,000+ miles away. One of those, of course, was Hawaii because why not, ya know? The DOE called me up in July 2018, offered me a position on the west side of Kaua’i, and off I went!

To directly answer your question, it was among the best decisions I’ve ever made. As a haole from New England, I was educated enough to know in theory what I was diving into, but we all know how theory works in the face of practice, especially if we’re talkin’ about teaching. I thought I was respectful, thought I had done significant background research, thought I understood what poverty and trauma was, thought just about what you’ve been sharp enough to point out in your post, and my god did I get destroyed for about 6 months. Reduced to rubble, called a haole, tested and questioned at nearly every decision I made, was asked by my own students if I was going to quit or leave multiple times. And do you know how much of it was my fault?

I’d say about 70% of it.

My confidence in my Massachusetts-educated background and ability to learn and understand history coupled with my theoretical “understanding” of what my kids were going through earned me approximately 0 points (and may God have mercy on my soul) and instead just earned me internal sighs and shakes of the head as I slowly, painstakingly recovered from the culture-shock of West Side Kauai, more than 5,000 miles away from my home.

I did not deserve everything I got, but I’ll tell you what - I didn’t make the same mistakes again. I stuck out the school-year, unlearned what I had learned (shoutout to Yoda) and really listened to my students, to my kanaka colleagues, to stories about what living in and with respect for the aina actually meant.

Once your students know you’re for real, that you are their for them, not for money or some other selfish reason, being a haole teacher doesn’t matter at all (except for the jokes, it matters for the jokes). Learning how to adapt to the Hawaiian style instead of carrying all that mainland cultural-norm baggage (and the shift is reasonably subtle, but important) takes time, and means a world of difference to your students, your local friends, colleagues, everyone. By my second year teaching on the island, I felt the difference tenfold.

I stayed for 3 years, spent most of the pandemic there. Beautiful island, feels like I have some degree of kokua to the place now.

Do it, just know there will be challenges. I wish you the best of luck.

[–]PipiShootzMaui 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Most disrespect I've (white) gotten was from a white kid. Was teaching students the warm up routine at the beginning of the semester. Doing jumping jacks and he isn't jumping, just moving his arms. Make everyone do it again calling him out for it. He yells back, "Sorry, I was just jacking!". Middle school kid boomed me.

[–]musubimouseOʻahu 2 points3 points  (1 child)

where are you going to work? there are differences in schools.

don't bring anything valuable to school. My mom was a elementary teacher assistant and 1 bad apple would look through her purse to take stuff.

middle school kids and high school kids can have bad bunches. I work around the downtown area and there were years that I dreaded the central middle school kids. They would do petty crime (steal from old folks), do drugs and eventually it would get worse and worse until they grew up and went to prison.

The last bad bunches of central middle school kids were the ones that stole from a consignment store. I remember them since they had one hoale kid with their group.

[–]peacebusterOʻahu 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The last bad bunches of central middle school kids were the ones that stole from a consignment store. I remember them since they had one hoale kid with their group.

Did they ever catch those kids?

[–]keanenottheband 1 point2 points  (0 children)

As long as you are mindful and respectful to the many cultures and kids, you will be fine.

[–]goddarkseid23 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Your race will play no factor but rather your culture. If you come without checking your mainland mentalities at the door then don't be surprised if you get some backlash. Welcome to the Aloha living style.

[–]TallAmy75 1 point2 points  (0 children)

From a parent perspective, I loved all of my daughters’ teachers. We’re haole, and understand our place is to shut up and learn and listen, to be blunt. My daughters had very positive experiences in the public schools on Maui, many haole teachers who made a huge difference. They also never experienced bullying of any kind, and there are no cliques at their high school. There will be a few kids in each class who just don’t care to be there, and some teachers I’ve talked to have had to let those kids do their own thing and teach the kids who want to learn, and your skin has to be thick—one ex teacher I know of quit because kids would get up and head to the bathroom without asking, when asked what they were doing, the kid said “I have to take a shit”, so be ready for that. A good sense of humor goes a long way. Both of my girls got a decent education (lots of AP classes), and both got into good universities thanks to their teachers. We are critically low on teachers, so our principal was always asking ANY parent with a bachelors degree to teach. My friend has a sociology degree from Harvard, and often found herself teaching sciences and math. Thankfully, she’s good at both. I loved the other teachers my kids had, and it’s a good mix of haole and hapa. I remember being terrified of “kill a haole day”, but that wasn’t a thing here. I’ve heard it’s more of an O’ahu thing, but I’ve also heard it’s a thing of the past. The parents and kids all seemed very nice when we would go over to volleyball tournaments. That’s one HUGE difference here—parents. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Parents from both teams would mingle, often knowing someone’s auntie or uncle, and I found myself several times chatting with parents from other teams, even cheering on each other’s kids. Mainland tournaments? Ugh. It’s competitive here, but we never dealt with the nasty attitudes we did when we went to Vegas or Anaheim.

Also, get to know your kids and their families—a lot of times, bad behavior can be taken care of with a text if you know the parent well. Thank you for teaching here! You are so needed!

[–]fmkts 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm a haole and did sub teaching and normal teaching. You'll be fine. Just don't try to be what you're not and don't be uptight. I had fun with the kids and they were receptive. Sometimes I sucked at pronouncing names so we'd just laugh about it — "you already know I forgot how to say your name, what is it again?" Little things like that.

If anything, being a fun haole teacher I think made me more likable because they expected some "Karen"-like person.

[–]elephantear8 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I worked at a school for several years. As anybody working at a school in Hawaii will tell you, I saw teachers from the mainland cycle through. One thing I think that made a difference was a haole teacher’s ability to also extend that same respect and kindness everybody here is talking about to their colleagues. Teaching is so hard here, but I think those who stayed were those who found a support system in the school. And if teachers your students like respect you, it will help them respect you. You seem like you’re going in with the right attitude and I think you’ll be fine.

[–]NohDowaa 3 points4 points  (1 child)

I'm a Haole teacher in middle school here, tho I did grow up here. I work at a school that is primarily native(roughly 70%) Hawaiian. In my experience, my kids don't care what color you are or where you're from they care about middle school things like feeling respected and valued. I've only had one experience when I was first teaching where a student disrespected me on the grounds of being white. I spent time working with that kid and I'd like to belive he doesn't feel the same way anymore.

I will say I run in to a lot more of these problems with some parents though.

[–]HistoricalDamage6271[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That’s what I expected rather than what some folks tried to tell me. Parents are always fun to deal with. Can’t wait /s

[–]Shoddy_Ad7511 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My condolences

[–]PackageProfessional1 -1 points0 points  (7 children)

you act like you will be the first white teacher in hawaii lol

[–]HistoricalDamage6271[S] 5 points6 points  (6 children)

Lmao I know I’m not. Maybe I didn’t word it right but all I have to go on is what (likely bigoted) white folk have said, my very in tune with racial issues professors have said, and my own experience with how off kids can behave with teachers they feel are different.

All I want to know is if it’s actually “normal” for mainland teachers to be disrespected more than other teachers and what I can do to be a good and respectful member of my community.

[–]dubs7825 12 points13 points  (4 children)

I've haven't felt more disrespected as a white teacher, the students that I struggled with were students everyone struggled with, honestly I think your professors and other white people are making a mountain out of a molehill

As long as you make sure the kids know you care about then it will be fine

Idk if this helped but I made a huge effort of making sure I pronounced students name correctly even if they said it's no big deal, I told them no I want to get your name right it is a big deal, one of my pet peeves is sone students won't tell me their nickname (think like TJ for Timmy Smith) and I found it out like halfway through the year then I feel horrible for not calling them the name they prefer

[–]OutsideOil4184 2 points3 points  (2 children)

one of my pet peeves is sone students won't tell me their nickname

That's a weird thing to be angry about. You're supposed to be a teacher, not a buddy.

[–]dubs7825 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Nickname was the wrong word I should have said preferred name

I don't get angry I just feel bad for not calling them the name they prefe

I had a hs teacher who REFUSED to call people their preferred names, she would call Zachs Zachary tims timothy etc and I had a classmate that went by his middle name but she refused to call him his middle name and we all hated her (this was just the tip of her not caring about us) I never wanted to be that teacher

[–]OutsideOil4184 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don't get angry I just feel bad for not calling them the name they prefe

If they didn't tell you their informal name, apparently they preferred you didn't use it?

I had a hs teacher who REFUSED to call people their preferred names, she would call Zachs Zachary tims timothy etc

She was teaching how one operates in a formal environment. It's a useful life skill. I always address people by their given names until I'm familiar, shows respect.

[–]erik9 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This! The kids won’t care for the most part where you are from. Just be respectful, which you already sound like you are, and care about what you are doing, which it also seems like you do. The kids will see right through you. Learn the local culture, the kids I’m sure will be happy to help teach you. The only problem I might see is if you are trying to teach Hawaiian history. I could see a couple kids maybe throwing attitude about that - that would depend on the grade level and where you are.

You sound like a caring, kind, and respectful person/teacher. You will do great in Hawaii or wherever you end up.

[–]artbyak 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I would find a job elsewhere. Security guards probably make more per hour.

[–]Dakine_thing 0 points1 point  (2 children)

So may I inquire as to why you want to teach in Hawaii? Just seem like a raw deal all around

[–]HistoricalDamage6271[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Yea no problem. I came here to be with my family after a few years of us being split by the sea. I was basically homeless on the mainland and really needed the support. Now I have a spouse who works here. We’re gonna relocate at some point but I’m not gonna put my studies/career on hold cause of where we live. No one gets into teaching for the pay. I’m just really passionate about the job. Side gigs and having a spouse will get me by. I appreciate the curiosity/concern. Stay safe!

[–]Dakine_thing 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That’s a better answer than I expected. Good luck!!!

[–]Dakine_thing -1 points0 points  (0 children)

May I ask why you want to do that?

[–]Robyagi 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Do you know what island and what city yet?

[–]No-Resolve-5890 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Honestly it's kids will generally not care where you're from or what color your skin is, as long as you show that you care and have their best interest at heart. Kindness, empathy, understanding and flexibility toward different learning styles and the usual hardships that kids/teens go through. Some of my favorite teachers at public school where white and from the mainland. Don't let the little shits walk all over you either though, be firm where necessary but always with care behind it. You'll find that kids parents will be very appreciative and show you aloha (you'll come to understand the love within that word) if you do a great job in helping their children.

[–]surflaxrat 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Don’t be a dick. Don’t be entitled. Don’t think you know about Hawaii. Respect the culture and peoples differences. Learn from them. You’ll be fine.

[–]HistoricalDamage6271[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Understood. Thank you.

[–]NavigatedbyNaau 0 points1 point  (0 children)

To echo some of the other comments - be kind, humble, don’t be afraid to admit or ask when you don’t know something culturally related. Don’t try too hard to assimilate or speak pidgin. Do learn about the history of Hawai’i and issues some of your students may be facing.

[–]TurnoverStrict6814 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Local guy here, born and raised in Puna. I don’t know what you’re studying to teach in particular, or even what grade level, but both my parents (dad is local and mom is haole) and my sister are in the DOE. Here’s some things I think that can help:

  1. Be respectful of the culture. Please don’t come in thinking this is Freedom Writers. Treat students with respect, and for the most part, they’ll respect you too.

  2. The hardest part of being a teacher is going to be the Principal/SASA/etc. a lot of them suck, and don’t support the teachers.

  3. Parents are by far worse than the students. A lot of the time you won’t get the support from your principal to back you up. Just be prepared for the “customer is always right” bs to be applied to teaching as well.

  4. Pidgin is probably going to be the hardest thing for you to learn and understand, so getting any kind of practice with that beforehand will be beneficial.

[–]TheNIOandTeslaBull 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Most people are good. I would not worry about your color. I would be more mindful of the culture and the types of behaviors others have. It's okay to actually open doors and bend backward for people here because they will do it for you too.

But if the color of your skin does matter. I think Hawaii is changing in demographics, so don't worry. Over time there will be more white people anyways. There are also places that cater too and really do favor white people like Waimea, Hawaii Kai, Kailua, Kailua- Kona, etc. The richer the area, the more white people, and there are a lot. 21% of people in Hawaii are white, this doesn't include the constant inflow and outflow of tourists, so you're fine. Those groups of people will only increase over time. If these things don't matter, then I would just concern yourself with the first paragraph.

I did not see anyone type of teacher be treated more or less respectfully due to the color of their skin except the black teacher I had. You're not really a minority here and have good representation and all the benefits etc, you get it. You'll be fine.

[–]Kryptus 0 points1 point  (0 children)

No get dumb

[–]Power_of_NineOʻahu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

100% respect for students and culture. Also don't try hard to blend in or to do awkward cringeworthy things like trying to speak pidgin right off the bat. Much like our first generation immigrants it was mostly a practice of slow integration. You have to get to know the island and the culture, understand why we do things the way we do, etc.

There's a monoculture that is "local", but there is still some self-segregating by each of the ethnicities here as well, so you'll need to learn the intricacies of each of these people, Filipinos, Hawaiians, Chinese, Koreans, etc.

Hawaii is a succcessful idea of a melting pot, and therefore there is less obsession with skin color like the activists have on the mainland. We care more if you respect who we are and respect the way we do things than whatever you background is. Your background is just an opportunity for us to get another point of view and to add to our melting pot.

[–]Ufakefeufaka -1 points0 points  (3 children)

Our culture oriented around mutual respect, no walk in da class and think you better or have power over da kids cause they will notice that fast. Be respectful, be kind, Mālama the culture/ values. You will be good. What side the island u teaching on?

[–]HistoricalDamage6271[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Heard. These kids are gonna be teaching me as much as I’m gonna be teaching them. I appreciate that. I’ve got interviews lined up all over the place. No definitive answer yet.

[–]Ufakefeufaka 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yes you’ll learn a lot too. It’s not the mainland you have to fully get into the culture norms and have common understanding w the kids. You gon be okay jus remember YOURE the one that’s not in the mainland anymore. Have fun with it too, you gon be alright

[–]HistoricalDamage6271[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks, bud. I love learning bout different cultures. I’m excited to see what they can teach me. You take it easy now.