Mr. Wada: man of mucho talents

The new Spanish teacher


Photo by Alyssa Urayanza

Mr. Wada assists Leiana Coloma-Nahooikaika with her online practice. He is Kamehameha Mauiʻs new Spanish teacher.

From Algebra I and trombone playing to Spanish and pole vaulting, the new Spanish teacher, Mr. Linden Wada has come to Kamehameha Maui.

Mr. Wada began his professional teaching career in January of 2009 after graduating from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, in 2008, but he says that he feels as if he’s been teaching his whole life.

“I always loved teaching, I believe it’s important,” Mr. Wada said. “I had really good teachers growing up — teachers that were very loving, but also had a really good teaching technique.”

Before coming to Kamehameha Schools, he taught at Maui High School for four years. There, he spent three years in the English Language Learning department and then another year as an Algebra I teacher. After that he taught Spanish at Baldwin High School.

In Spanish class, Mr. Wada said his main focus is on speaking, listening, reading and writing.

“To do that, you have to engage all the senses. You have to use your ears. You have to use your eyes. You have to use your mouth,” he said.

Over the course of the semester, Mr. Wada will be using technology, such as online learning websites, as well as more traditional methods of teaching such as using the Spanish textbooks and workbooks. He also hopes to incorporate more cultural aspects into his teaching by introducing new foods and playing games, so the students have a feel of what other countries are like.

The basic rules for his classroom are:

  1. Cellphones are prohibited.
  2. No texting.
  3. Respect one another. No bullying or putdowns.
  4. Contribute to the learning environment.

“Some things I would want [my students] to know about me is that I love God,” Mr. Wada said. “My faith is very important to me. My family is very important to me. In addition to that, I am proud to be from Hawai’i, proud of the culture. I’m proud of the aloha spirit and I’m proud of the way I was brought up here.”

Mr. Wada grew up in Wailuku as the fifth child of a family of five boys and two girls. Growing up without a television, he remembers playing baseball with his four older brothers in front of his house. He recalls “running barefoot on the asphalt” and “using the light post as first base, the curb as second base, and a rubber slipper as third base.”

“It was fun growing up without a t.v. because we didn’t have a distraction,” Mr. Wada said. “We had to create ways to entertain ourselves.”

His uncle, on his motherʻs side, is none other than Kamehameha Maui music teacher, Mr. Dale Nitta, himself.

“No one ever guesses it because my mom and him donʻt look alike, and they donʻt act alike,” Mr. Wada said.

Despite having owned dogs and raising fish in the past, he currently doesn’t own any pets. Instead, he has a mini Bonsai tree that is over ten years old and that he is very proud of.

He has quite a few hobbies, including golf and photography; however, his favorite hobbies include fishing and diving.

Apart from those, Mr. Wada also plays the trombone. He started playing the trombone in middle school and continued through high school where he played in both concert and symphonic band.

On the side, he acts as the Track and Field pole vaulting coach for Baldwin High School, where he was a two-time Hawaiʻi High School Athletic Association state champion.

Mr. Wada is also recently back to us from his honeymoon right here on Maui! His wife, Roxanne, is an engineer at Maui Dynamic Engineering.