Program supports teachers

Roots School in Haiku will launch its new Kakou Program starting in the 2019-20 school year. The program is a new and innovative way to combat the universal problem of teacher burnout, according to an announcement.

“We believe that we are the only school in the state to support teachers with a program like this,” said Melita Charan, Roots head of school. “Research shows that many teachers stop teaching after their first five years because of a lack of time to prepare creative lessons, a lack of time to balance personal life with teaching, and a lack of freedom in what and how to teach.”

In order to address these issues, Roots will be giving all lead teachers one flex day per week outside the classroom. A teaching specialist will rotate between each classroom and teach STEM, Hawaiian studies or arts on the day of the week that the lead teacher is out of the classroom. On their flex day, teachers will be free to lesson plan, communicate with parents, take care of their own mind, body and spirit, or get involved in community activities. Having a flexible day each week will give teachers the space to be innovative and creative, which will then be reflected in the classroom.

“By allowing teachers additional time outside the classroom through the Kakou Program, we are modeling our mission for our students, their families and the wider community,” said Charan. “We want teachers who can continue to grow, collaborate, create, and have a healthy work/life balance that allows them to become inspired with new ideas that can be felt in the classrooms.”

The program was named for the Hawaiian word “kakou,” which describes the value of inclusiveness, and also means “all of us” and “we are all in this together.”

Roots School is a private nonprofit school serving children from preschool through 8th grade. For more information, go to www.rootsmaui.org.