|Teaching in Hawaii
Hawaii State Department of Education
Excellence in Education
The appointed Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) and the State Superintendent of Education, appointed by the BOE, are committed to achieving excellence in Hawaii’s public schools.
The Department of Education (DOE) has adopted standards-based reform and the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards, establishing high expectations of academic and professional performance and accountability at all levels in our statewide public school system. Professional educators are the cornerstone of our mission to prepare Hawaii’s youngsters for the 21st Century.
Teaching in Hawaii means personal involvement in making school improvements through dedicated, creative collaboration at all levels of the school system. Schools are viewed as partnerships involving students, teachers, parents, administration, business, and the community.
Most of Hawaii’s schools embrace the concept of School Community Councils (SCC), which involves shared decisionmaking, encourages parental participation, provides administrative flexibility, and empowers school communities.
Education is everybody’s business. Hawaii is the only state with a single, unified school system. The DOE operates 255 regular schools and 3 special schools. Student enrollment exceeds 182,000
The Department of Education employs almost 13,000 teachers, librarians and counselors. The renewed emphasis on excellence in education has contributed to an increase in teachers’ salaries, reduced class size, improved curricula, and expanded educational resources.
Geographically, job opportunities occur on all islands—Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kauai. However, the greatest demand for new teachers occurs on the neighbor islands and in the more rural areas of Oahu, away from the major population center of Honolulu.
The Hawaii Teacher Standards Board requires candidates to meet licensure requirements. They are:
The Department of Education requires completion of a structured interview with an authorized professional staff interviewer. Teachers are eligible for tenure after completing four consecutive semesters of probation. A teacher must possess a teaching license before starting probation. Sometimes a teacher is permitted to begin employment without fully meeting standards. In these cases, employment is temporary to a maximum of three school years and these teachers do not have an opportunity to earn tenure.
The Hawaii Public School System offers a wide variety of teaching opportunities for the most qualified and talented teachers. These are teachers who are caring, competent, effective, and committed to obtaining the best results for our students.
To become and to remain a part of our educational experience, teachers must be dedicated to the profession and to the students. They must show result-producing attitudes and abilities; they must perceive learners as individuals and must empathize with them. Educators must lead by example and empower students to become literate, caring, effectively functioning, and constructive members of society.
The Department of Education is looking for informed, vibrant, and committed teachers who can make things happen for our learners. We seek those who can invigorate the learning process so as to make a difference to each pupil.
Hawaii is a special place with students representing a variety of multi-ethnic backgrounds. Therefore, the professional staff must be sensitive to the enriching contributions that island students can make to the total teaching-learning environment.
Learn more about the DOE's new Educator Effectiveness System.
Salary and Compensation
The collective bargaining contract establishes the annual salary rates for new teachers. Such information is published annually to reflect the most current salaries in the document “Teachers’ Salary Schedule.”
Up to six years of non-DOE teaching experience is accepted for salary placement. Experience must be officially verified before being credited and must have been in a recognized K-12 public or private school. Certain active military experience, up to four years, may also be used in combination with acceptable teaching experience for salary credit, allowing an individual to enter at a higher step. A combination of teaching and military experience may not exceed six years.
If you meet the requirements for teaching and have a strong desire to nurture and develop students to become contributing members of an educated society, the Department encourages you to apply for teaching or specialist positions in Hawaii’s public schools. School librarians and school counselors are specialist positions. To apply for employment, obtain a complete application from the Teacher Recruitment Section as indicated below:
The packet contains the Application for Professional Employment for Teachers, School Librarians, and School Counselors. Instructions for completing the form are also included.
Once the Office of Human Resources receives the application and all documents, arrangements will be made for a personal interview with an authorized Department representative.
If you qualify and successfully complete the application process, your name enters the Department’s teacher hiring pool. The Personnel Regional Office refers a list of eligible applicants to each vacancy for employment consideration and selection. The school principal and/ or designated representative(s) will interview and consider referred candidates and make a final selection for the vacancy. This process permits selection of the best qualified candidate for each teaching assignment.
Qualified applicants from the teacher applicant pool will be referred by matching the requirements of the vacancy with each candidate’s comparative strengths based on the Department’s assessments of application information, including academic preparation, teaching experience, personal interview results, college transcripts, geographic and grade level placement preferences, and other sources of information. Depending on the hiring demands for your teaching specialty, you may be referred to many school interviews before being selected for employment from the teacher applicant pool.
The Department of Education does not discriminate in its educational policies, programs, and activities on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, and disability in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991. The Department of Education does not discriminate in its employment policies, programs, and activities on the basis of sexual orientation, arrest and court record, and National Guard participation, as well as on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, and disability, in accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991, Equal Pay Act of 1963, and Chapter 378, Part I, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
Other Sources of Information
For more information about working and living in Hawaii, contact the Chamber of Commerce for the island on which you plan to reside as well as the Hawaii Visitors Bureau.
© Hawaii State Department of Education, P.O. Box 2360, Honolulu, HI 96804; Physical address: 1390 Miller St, Honolulu, HI 96813; phone: 808-586-3230; fax: 808-586-3234. All rights reserved. For problems/questions concerning this web site, please email the webmaster. Links to other web sites should not be considered an endorsement. DOE is not responsible for the content of external web sites.