Brian Nakamoto was inspired to become a teacher after spending the summer of 2008 working as an educational assistant at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind. For one week, he got to be a substitute teacher.

“During that week students inspired me, and after I acknowledged their academic weaknesses, motivated me to become a teacher in the near future,” said Nakamoto, who is deaf.

After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 2008, he returned to school in 2009 to earn a master’s degree from the Department of Educational Technology at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. This fall, he is an educational assistant at Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind. His short-term goal is to become a teacher at the school and a role model for the students. Because he is deaf, he has a connection with them that they don’t have with the other teachers, he said. Looking farther ahead, he’d like to become principal of the school.

One of the challenges he identified is raising the standard for deaf students, because their reading and writing skills are not up to par with those of their hearing peers.

“Pi Lambda Theta can help me bring the best teaching methods, along with better avenues of educational technology, into Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind, thus raising the standards and bars at that school,” he said.  “I want to see these deaf students succeed academically.”

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