As the school year closes this officially marks the end of my 9 years of teaching, and perhaps the first time I have ever felt like I didn't make substantial growth as a teacher. While part of how I measure my success is quantified by awards my students pick up (to which we didn't win much as a team - and yes, I know this isn't the best way to measure success), a lot of it revolves around how much I got to know my students, how much of an impact I felt like I made in their lives, and how much "teacher stuff" I was able to accomplish.
While it is bittersweet that I feel so dejected by how little I feel like I've impacted my students in comparison to the year's past, I can confidently say a lot of my focus has poured into being a good father to my own child. Even while feeling thinned out almost every day, I am proud of the fact that my students were able to find so much individual success. It proves how accomplished they can be in an environment where they're allowed to grow at their own pace, surrounded by like-minded, but very different peers. I pride myself in building an advanced media program that isn't just for the best and brightest, but for those who purely have a passion for video production. I have students of all paths, strengths, and weaknesses and I am amazed every year at the results this concept has produced.
While I could feel bad about not making substantial growth as a teacher, I really see it as a motivating factor in becoming a better teacher AND father. It's funny to have to say that now, but I'm excited for what my 10th year of teaching will bring along with my 1st full year of parenthood. From a new advanced media team and new curriculum, to all the new dad moments and everything in between. While most teachers are pumped that the year is ending, I'm pumped at all the new experiences, possibilities, and moments this will bring in the near future. And I hope you're pumped too! #stayhungry
Media @ EMMS
Tiger Media is the video production team of Ewa Makai Middle School. Our programs include an Exploratory program for students interested in learning more about video production and an Advanced program for students who would like to extend their learning into professional and real-world video production.
About Mr. Toyota
When they say "professions run in the family," the saying holds true for my family and I. My mother, my aunty, and my grandmother were all teachers before me and I didn't ever think I'd be the one to take up the mantle. I've been teaching since 2008 and started at the age of 23 years old.
I'm a National Board Certified teacher with a Bachelor's in Secondary Education: Social Studies. Additionally, I have served in various roles ranging from an HSTA PD Trainer and Consultant, AVID Site Team Member, Club Advisory, Volleyball Coach, Event Organizer, and Chair for the CxK Media Cohort.
Basic Teaching Philosophy
There are constantly occurring learning opportunities. As a teacher, it is my duty to not only help students see these opportunities at face value, but to help them profit from these experiences.
I believe that learning is growing and that growing in the right direction is an important aspect of being successful. I can help the imperfect, I can hardly help those who are perfect. Although academics is an important part of a child's life, I understand that a child's life is even more important than school as an institution. Homework, tests, grades, and due dates pale in comparison to preparing a child for their future. I am but one person amongst a community of people that will come into a child's life, whether my role is small or large, my actions have lasting implications.
I will always strive to make a difference, to help student's grow in the right direction, to develop their passions, and to prepare them for the struggles ahead. It is my duty, my honor, and my will as their teacher.
- Ethan Toyota