Bertram B.B.
“KUMU CAREERS”
05/26/2024

Impress the heck out of everyone by telling them that what you are going to do after high school is build a new world.

You’re probably getting asked a lot what you’re going to do when you grow up. What do you tell people when the truth is that you probably just want to take some well-deserved time to lie on the couch and watch Netflix? Do you mention that you want to go backpacking through Europe like some kid from the continent? Or maybe that all you can think of right now is catching some summer swells at Bowls?

Impress the heck out of everyone by telling them that what you are going to do after high school is build a new world. Like this guy. Kumu Kaho‘okahi has been in all kinds of classrooms, i kai, i uka, from preschool to high school, all ovah da pae ‘āina.

Everyone wants to have a good answer to the question of what your post-high-school plans are, so why don’t you quietly take your couch time or your surf time, and then impress the heck out of everyone by telling them that what you are going to do after high school is build a new world. How can you change the world from your couch or from the lineup out at Bowls? Well, you can’t, but when the summer is over, you can get on the path to world-building by taking courses that will allow you to become a kumu!

No ku‘u lāhui e ha‘awi pau, a i ola mau. Kū ha‘aheo, e ku‘u Hawai‘i. Kumu Hina is one of the kumu who has answered the call. She gives her all to the lāhui, standing proud and firm on a foundation built on ‘ike Hawai‘i.

The world is in desperate need of kumu and not just because of how you affect things in the classroom.

The world is in desperate need of kumu, and not just because of how you affect students in the classroom. We are in a time of rising sea levels and global environmental issues, racism and homophobia, houselessness and a general disregard for our fellow kānaka. All of these things are at their root caused by the fact that those with decision-making power do not understand the pilina between ʻāina and kanaka, kanaka and kanaka. This is the legacy that your generations will have to deal with, but you can give haumāna a powerful weapon with which to fight these issues: ʻike Hawaiʻi.

Kumu are highly esteemed professionals for our lāhui, one that many people dedicate their entire lives to.

So when you are done relaxing on the couch and the surf is flat, take the unique opportunity to change the world, be a kumu, a source, for the rising generations. Anyone can become a kumu if they are willing to put in the work, but those of you in Hawaiian culture, language, and ‘āina-based kula are already on your way down this path. You didn’t get all those paʻi from your own kumu for nothing! You carry the kuleana to share the ʻike that they have given you, and some of you will want to move further down this path and formally become a kumu like them, someone who will teach others about how this world can and should be, how we can look to our pasts to move into our futures, how to be better kānaka in pilina with the ʻāina. Kumu are highly esteemed professionals for our lāhui, one that many people dedicate their entire lives to, but we always need more, especially if we want to shape the world the way we do.

Kumu Keiki has dedicated her life to education and building community. If you live in Hawai‘i or have bumped into ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i somewhere, you’ve been touched by her influence.

To find out more about the requirements to becoming a kumu, click the blue thing below.

Don’t believe us? Believe these kumu.

We asked kumu what led them to leading through education and what they enjoy most about it. They had a lot to say, here are some highlights.

Kumu Lei

Lihu'e, Kaua‘i

Haumāna are awesome! So awesome that they crack me up every day. I learn from them and love the new things we learn together. Some day in the future they will be the future leaders of our lāhui

– Kumu Lei Wann
Kawaikini New Century Public Charter School

Kumu Leimomi

Pālolo, O‘ahu

I became a kumu kaiapuni to ensure that our languge, culture, and lāhui continue to live. Without our language, there is no Hawai‘i.

– Kumu Leimomi Leong
Ānuenue

Kumu ‘Iolani

Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i

I’m inspired by how the Hawaiian Language Immersion program gives our communities a strong and positive cultural foundation.

– Kumu ‘Iolani
‘O Hina i ka Malama

Kumu Kaliko

Mānoa, O‘ahu
Being a university professor looked enjoyable and seemed like a strong way to re-establish our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i in our Kānaka Maoli.

– Kumu Kaliko Baker
UH Mānoa

Kumu Kiani

Pā‘ia, Maui
After graduating from Kaiapuni, I knew it was my kuleana to become a kumu to provide the same or better opportunities for my haumāna.

– Kumu Kiani Yasak
Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Maui

Kumu Ka‘aka

Keaukaha, Hawai‘i

My mother is my inspiration to becoming a teacher. She is the force that has given me many opportunities when growing up to be a leader.

– Kumu Ka‘aka Swain
Ka Umeke Kā‘eo

Kumu Kaumuali‘i

Pālolo, O‘ahu

Getting cracks from my Sifu at HKA inspired me to inspire others… minus the leg sweeps.

– Kumu Kaumuali‘i Titcomb
Ānuenue

Kumu Trevor

Makiki, O‘ahu

I’m practicing to be a healthy, akamai kupuna like those who fed me. E ho’okumu!

– Kumu Trevor Atkins
Hālau Kū Māna

Kumu Kaleikoa

Kahului, Maui

Pehea kakou, e lanakila ai? Ma o ka nui o ke aloha e pono ai.

– Kumu Kaleikoa Kā‘eo
UH Maui