Monthly Archives: September 2013

Hawaii Association of Middle Schools Conference – October 19


What: The Hawaii Association of Middle Schools is having their conference on October 19, 2013 in Honolulu. HAMS is the local affiliate of NMLE (national middle level educators).

If you would like more information and if you will already be on Oahu that weekend, let Cathy know.

I am including their latest newsletter that has information on the conference as well as articles on classroom management and preparing for a substitute tips.

HAMS-09.2013 Newsletter


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Share Your Ed Tech Ideas At ISTE 2014


You already have tips and tricks for exploring technology in your classroom, so why not share it with the WORLD? If you signed up with me to go to ISTE, you’re going, so why not share your manaʻo?

ISTE is hungry for classroom teachers to share how they leverage technology to engage and empower students, so submit a proposal today. Proposals are due by October 2 at 11 pm PDT. Here are some resources to inspire you to submit:

Submission tips and tricks webinar

Submission guide – a PDF for FAQs and sample submissions

Video session on writing and submitting an effective submission by Chris OʻNeal

And finally, the Submission link


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Challenges That Wake Me Up


I think it’s always best to record those things that just keep me up or wake me up from dream state. One of the challenges is the continuity piece.

The why of the continuity: I have found with writing project that when teachers do not show up for continuity, they are less likely to continue the good work they started in the summer institute. The challenge has always been on how to entice people to show up on a Saturday for something that will benefit them. The easy out is that people are very busy. Perhaps teachers are not used to putting themselves first.

But everybody suffers. When teachers are left on their own without a support group around them, they go back to what they are familiar with and as a trainer/developer, I lost ground.

The challenge is that it is voluntary, not mandatory. The work around is that it may come out in the interview that it is beneficial, not beneficial, unnecessary or valuable. That will make a difference on how I then write it up. Is it a crucial part of the mechanism that makes this PD or not. If not, then I report it as so.

So I guess through this writing, I come back to my methodology which in non-scientific terms is to prepare, then let it ride.


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Why Math Matters

Math-picMy ability and lack of fear to write in blank spaces with blinking cursors to mock me makes graduate school much easier for me than for people who are deathly afraid of writing. I am doing educational research using qualitative methods. Also a plus. But even within the qualitative methods, there needs to be some math and that’s basically where I’m stuck this morning.

It’s a weekend, which means that I continue to wake up at 5, but instead of rushing off to work, this is my quiet time where I have at least 2 hours to myself as the rest of the household sleeps. This is my sacred writing time and my research time. But again, I’m stuck on the math. This is not even save the world from death and destruction kind of high stakes math, this is math that I should know because it should be as simple as breathing.

I need to update some of my statistics on native Hawaiian student achievement in public and charter schools. I used an older 2005 report out of KS to determine which schools had a predominantly native Hawaiian student population (over 50%). That report gave me a list of 48 out of 286 public and charter schools in Hawaii. I should know the percentage shouldn’t I? How do I figure that out besides just waiting for my husband to wake up. Really, you wouldn’t think I’m actually trying to get my doctorate with my ignorance. I found that of the 48 schools, 17 met AYP (annual yearly progress) and 31 did not meet AYP in SY 2011-2012. So what does that mean besides the fact that it’s kind of grim for our predominantly Hawaiian schools? Shouldn’t I be able to say how bad. I know more than 50% did not meet, because 1/2 of 48 is 24.

Math matters. When I go in to observe math classrooms, I’m going to have to remember that. My option now is to wait for my husband to wake up. That’s how much math matters.



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PD Tuesday: Ed Camp Hawaii


ed camp


What: edcamp Honolulu is a free UnConference where teachers get together to share ideas and get ideas “Aʻo aku aʻo mai” – this is an innovative and free way to take control of your own PD and gather lots of classroom-friendly ideas from other teachers.

When: October 19, 2013 (the day after the Schools of the Future conference)

Where: Iolani School’s Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership

If you are already going to Schools of the Future and would like to stay on to participate, let Cathy know.

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Action plan – 2 weeks at a time


Action item follow ups: 

  • check with Gay on any changes she would like to see with chapter one
  • make the changes that Rod wants
  • make a decision on the point of view (check with Gay and try to give her some insights on what Rod wants) 
  • be able to justify to Rod if Gay and I disagree with his suggestion
  • work on chapter two by putting in the time daily – one journal, one part of my chapter two
  • start interviewing, decide on how I am interviewing, 
  • work on the feedback on a timely basis, within 48 hours
  • verbal plus written, out of scope of program, part of program, but not part of answering the dissertation question – do I have to finish the coaching as part of the “program” in order to then conduct the interviews? I want them to have the observation opportunity. but what if I can’t get to everyone before my time is up
  • get a more final date on when the paper needs to be finalized and turned in so that I can be a part of the dissertation conference
  • get ready for MISO now that I know that it is one hour.
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I am the light at the end of the tunnel?!

Franklin Allaire, an ABD is back again talking about advice, tips for finishing up our dissertations. He is the one that is talking to native Hawaiian science people.

His big aha is that we are at the end of a 3 year program, and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we need to understand that we are the light at the end of the tunnel. My take on that, we are the mana that fuels our own completion. I have full confidence that I WILL finish on time, only because I am stubborn and controlling and arrogant enough to trust my process, adjust my process, and make sure that I do not lose control.


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Using Every Grain of Sand

Respect the process


This morning’s class session is about listening to PhD candidates and former PhD students to try and learn about their journey, their research, their process, and through that, their advice.

What this forces me to do is to be so present in this moment, in this life, that I can use every single grain of sand that comes toward me as another pearl that has fallen into my lap. Today’s first speaker, David, said something that resonates with me. It’s not a new treasure, it’s an old confirmation that I forgot in a separate box titled archives. RESPECT THE PROCESS.

As a writing project director, my advice when we hit the point of releasing control to the teachers and it looked like things were going to get out of control was to TRUST the process. This journey, this dissertation, these decisions continue to be a leap of faith.

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Creating a Space for the Mana Wahine

I love this picture of Michelle Obama because it represents our dinner group of women, the mana wahine. We found each other in this program, stick together, support each other, drink together, worry together, write together, celebrate together.

This cohort one, created by a man, does not take into account the unique needs of women to define cohort as a support system. I know some of them have been asking for something, but I’m going to do the proactive thing and actually create a google folder to hold our personal folders where we can place our dissertation writing and we can seek feedback from each other.

Late, maybe, but crucial now that we are at the birthing stage. If I build it, will they come? Is it ok to just open it up to our group of women?

I need to put what I have up first as a way to create the safe space. Lele.


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PD Tuesday: Doctorate in Education Starts Summer 2014

From Kamehameha: Kapua Akiu-Wilcox, Laurie Seto, Cathy (bottom row); Kyle Atabay, Sylvia Hussey (2nd row); Erika Cravalho, Pua Kaʻai (back row)


What: professional educational practice doctorate (EdD) out of UH Manoa. Cohort 2 starts in the summer of 2014 and ends in the summer of 2017.

Why: if you are interested in the next step of your career, this doctorate allows you to get a degree with a cohort of other educational leaders from independent and public schools while still working full time. Choose your dissertation project from a problem of practice within your own line of work.

Applications must be completed by January 17, 2014.

If you are interested in the flyer, if you have questions about the program or if you want a letter of recommendation, contact Cathy.


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