Kai Uehara '20

The Social Justice Scholar

Kai has always had the inclination to try to make any situation better. When he was searching for colleges, Emmanuel's social justice mission resounded deeply with his ideals of supporting those who need the help.

"There is no group, I'm more sympathetic to than children, and that's a major reasons I decided to dedicate myself to education," he said. "Education's impact on society can't be overstated."

He's also always been drawn to biology. "There's a certain satisfaction found in discovering and sharing facts, like why leaves change color in the fall or how physical characteristics are determined by genes," Kai said. "I am using this disposition toward becoming a qualified, change-making educator."

After completing several semesters of service-learning and pre-practicums (classroom observation), he felt prepared for the student-teaching experience-but acknowledged "it isn't something that can really be understood without experiencing it."

For 14 weeks, Kai joined a teacher in North Quincy High School's biology department, where he planned lessons, assisted with grading and served as the main instructor for three classes.

"Student-teaching has provided me an opportunity to discern the type of educator I would like to grow to become," Kai said.

In all, the lessons Kai has learned within the School of Education have been central to his growth.

“Like anything else, college is what you make of it, and the quality and quantity of growth you experience is solely your responsibility,” he said. “However, colleges like Emmanuel, which have a dedicated and supportive faculty who provide the support needed to grow and to be your best, are worth heavy consideration. By facilitating coursework, service learning, pre-practicums, a student teaching practicum, and many extracurricular opportunities like research and volunteer opportunities, Emmanuel College’s School of Education has been central to the growth I’ve had at college.

"With each experience my understanding and philosophy of education has deepened, and I know that what I have learned will guide me far beyond graduation. I have gained a great deal of confidence, learned ways to assess my teaching and foster meaningful, long-lasting learning among my students; and began to develop my identity and style as an educator."


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