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New Faces 2020: Riker Kasamoto

Riker Kasamoto always knew that he wanted to be a teacher. “I’ve always wanted to help others and make a difference in other people’s lives,” he said.”I was coaching volleyball in the middle school level, and I had a very fun time helping others, so that’s why I wanted to become a teacher.” Kasamoto, like many other teachers, enjoys what he does, but there was one point in his life where he was losing passion. One experience he had with a student changed that. Kasamoto used to teach at a small Christian school in Oregon. ”One of my students invited me to his graduation party and that really touched me,” Kasamoto said. “It was after that experience I knew that teaching was something that I wanted to do.” He goes on to say that, “when you teach classes everyday and you have four different classes to teach it gets overwhelming at times so I just saw that everything was worth it just due to the gratitude that student showed me,” says Kasamoto. This experience also gave him the reassurance that he needed. 

Coming to Kaiser was a change for Kasamoto. “The biggest difference between Kaiser and the school I used to teach at in Oregon would have to be the class size.” he said. “There are pros and cons to smaller class sizes, but I do like the larger class sizes as well because you get more diverse opinions.”

These opinions and interactions are what Kasamoto enjoys most about teaching. “It’s just fun to be around a lot of people. I guess the thing that makes this year very lacking that I don’t get that as much with the distance learning,” he said. Kasamoto thinks there are pros and cons to this distance learning. “I think that there are pros and cons to distance learning. I think that it is easier to organize things online, I feel like posting the assignments online is a lot easier to grade than a bunch a paper…I don’t have to make copies of everything,” Kasamoto says. On the other hand, he misses being in school—it’s hard to interact with students online. 

A hobby that he has is he really enjoys watching sports. He’s a fan of Dodgers baseball and also enjoys watching the NFL. Over quarantine, he’s picked up new hobbies: Some things that Kasamoto has been doing over quarantine is he is cooking a lot more and he is also gardening outside of his teaching life.

Kasamoto will continue to pursue his passion. He is looking forward to things getting back to normal so that he can interact with his students face to face for the first time here at Kaiser. 

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