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Special education teachers face unique online challenges amidst pandemic

By: Aloha Lau

14 December 2020

Disclosure: Lau is a relative of special education teacher Kumu Kris. 


The coronavirus pandemic has altered how teachers and school staff are approaching education. Special education teacher Kristen Kalilikane-Lau tells us that Waipahu Intermediate has transitioned to a fully virtual classroom and teachers are noticing a change in students’ participation. Principal Howard Chi also provides insight on what the changes mean for staff workflow. Teachers face unique challenges amidst the pandemic with the transition from in-person to online classrooms. 


“I’m not used to being an online teacher, I didnʻt become a teacher to work on the computer,” said Kristen Kalilikane-Lau, a special education teacher at Waipahu Intermediate. 


New protocols have been implemented regarding the safety of students regardless of their opinions. 


“It's just an amazing amount of work,” said Howard Chi, Vice Principal of Waipahu Intermediate. 


Chi is referring to transitioning the entire school online. 


“My hope is that when we do come back together as a school community the children appreciate one another more than before,” Kalilikane-Lau said.  

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