Category Archives: Uncategorized

Listen

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As an instructional coach, I often ask questions in order to reveal the thinking of the person across from me. I’m also asking questions because I am trained to believe that we have all the answers we need within ourself and someone just needs to help us tap into that inner voice of reason and experience, creativity and decision-making. I never really know if it will work, but I’ve seen it work enough times that I almost never have to go into a “consultation” mode. When I do go into a consultation, “have you thought about trying. . .” mode, it’s more because of my own time crunch or loss of patience than it is about the ability of the person across from me. 

Listening to your own inner navigator is a different experience when there is no coach or no second player to confirm if you’re tapping into something great or you’re just hearing voices from left field. But what I’m starting to believe in this dissertation journey, which is becoming a journey towards myself is that I must have followed a long line of women who survived and thrived through difficult times because of their ability to listen. I am aware now that I have a mo’oka’i – a lineage of generations of journeys that run through my ancestral memory, and when I am asked to listen, I am not the only navigator; I am not alone.  I am the beneficiary of lines and lines of navigators who understood the power of listening to their lines and lines of navigators. All I have to do is listen. Pa’a ka waha. 

Mo’owaiwai. 

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Pushing out of concrete to keep and keep and keep and keep

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Sandra Cisneros is one of my favorite authors. If I ever got to meet her, I would freeze up and stand quiet as a wall or hide and shun the brightness. But in the safety of my classroom, I offer her writing up to my students like a gift that I was personally given and that they should treasure as such.  In House on Mango Street, she has a vignette titled “Four Skinny Trees,” and this is my purpose in laboring over this dissertation in the way that I do. I’m trying to create an aesthetic experience. I am inviting you to dive in. Immerse, be niele, forget that this is a piece of academic writing. The simplicity is what creates the difficulty, so I rely on my four skinny trees to keep me going on.  My husband who holds the fort down, who keeps everything from falling apart. My advisor and mentor who provide the right balance of shade and encouragement, sustenance and breeze. My children, my parents, my grandchildren who have been existing without me because their survival is my survival is our survival and finally my colleagues and my students past, present and future who are fierce and weather struggles and setbacks and mostly who rely on me to hear their voices and tell their story.

 

“They are the only ones who understand me. I am the only ones who understand them.” 

“Keep, keep, keep, trees say when I sleep. They teach.”

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How to Begin Analyzing Data

Thank you Dr. Cooper for helping me to start analyzing my data.

My New Year’s Message to Myself

Choose a purposeful life

Action plan – 2 weeks at a time

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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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Somebody Gets Me

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Senator Francis Underwood from House of Cards – “You donʻt want to work anywhere you’re not willing to get fired from. Treading water is the same as drowning for people like you and me.

 

I hate treading water in jobs. It makes me unmanageable, but I can only have this attitude because I have a husband who will always rescue me from the dark places, as well as allow me to jump in the first place.

 

Day 11: Replenishing Energy

breath

I can actually work all day. But putting long hours in does not make me more productive, so what can I do to replenish my energy?

Make lunch time sacred by trying to eat with others and not eating at my desk. It’s just 35 minutes, but it’s 35 minutes of rest.

Breathe deep and visualize the breath feeding my blood cells as a way to reconnect

Take a long break from thinking

Practice breathing. That’s the hardest part. I am a piss poor breather. I wish I could be still at the bottom of the pool like my husband. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

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The Power of Community in the Classroom

Today’s share-out of the critical incident survey (June 15, 2012) just exemplifies the power of building community in the classroom. It’s a purposeful, democratic way to teach and the questionnaire is evidence that it’s working as planned. According to Wolk (2003), “Community is central to a democratic classroom” (p. 14). He goes on to say that in democratic classrooms, teachers win students’ trust and hearts while engaging their minds (p. 14).  Our classroom fits into the ideal classroom community in that we have discussion and debate. The community itself becomes a force in our own learning.

  • The class discussions and activities help to unpack the complex and messy concept of identity.
  • During most of the discussions; typically large group. But small as well. I find myself thinking about the class well after, and before. . .
  • Our discussions are invigorating and liberating.

Another way we fit into a classroom community is in the way that the teachers honored our stories by giving up time (2 days) to get to know us through the sharing of our legacy papers as well as the instructor sharing. It showed that our interests, cultures and life experiences were valued. It showed that we are all equal in this. When I was in the classroom, I would always write with my students too, and then share my raw “shitty” first draft so that the students understood that we were in a process together, and the goal was not to be perfect. I think with our other classes, there is an emphasis on perfection and aggression. The talkers with their erudite discourse and their plethora of researchers and academe that they can name drop are found on shaky ground in this type of democratic classroom where one must stand naked in one’s own identity to take part in the discourse, and wait time and encouragement is given to the meek.

  • I felt most engaged when my classmates and instructors were sharing their legacy stories. Every single one of them. I’m grateful to be part of this wonderful, caring group.
  • The two days of values, sharing were invaluable. I was awash in my colleagues’ lives, their stories, their being. Sacred moments.
  • I liked connecting with the others in the cohort in ways that we’ve not previously had the opportunity to connect.
  • I found the sharing of the plate very affirming as my partner was a good listener, was kind, cared about what I said and I think the feeling was mutual.

The third way that we are a democratic classroom is in the constructivist and generative curriculum. This is not one-way teaching (like statistics). In our democratic classroom, teaching and learning is a transaction: teacher to student, student to teacher, student to student.  This classroom nurtures our creation of knowledge and advocates for learning as a social act.

  • Hearing the discussions and thoughts from colleagues and kumu help to clarify many ideas/thoughts/lessons from the reading.
  • In small group discussions my group members helped explain and clarify certain concepts so that I gained a better understanding.
  • The shift this class has made to the interrelation of the group. I am excited to see how this will affect our classes as we move forward.
  • I feel that I am being affected not by pressure or difficult assignments, but by social conversation and collaborative learning.

And finally, we are a democratic classroom because our instructors allow us to see them as complete people with emotions, opinions, and lives outside of school.

  • I appreciated when Lori shared her thought today, reflecting on being Japanese in Hawai’i vs. other places and her recognizing that she did not lift while she climbed.
  • I appreciate the opener and being receptive from Gay, Walter and Lori has been very calming. We can be who we are – truly – without feeling judged.

References

Wolk, S. (2003). Hearts and minds. Educational Leadership, 61 (1), 14-18.

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Tab October Recommendations

If you want information on how to order online, go to the scholastic book order page on this blog, or see Mrs. Ikeda in 1103.

Picture 8Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – This is the fight-to-the-death sequel to The Hunger Games.

Picture 9Savvy by Ingrid Law (2009 Newberry Honor book).

For generations, the Beaumont family has harbored a magical secret. They each possess a “savvy” -a special supernatural power that strikes when they turn thirteen. Grandpa Bomba moves mountains, her older brothers create hurricanes and spark electricity . . . and now it’s the eve of Mibs’s big day.

As if waiting weren’t hard enough, the family gets scary news two days before Mibs’s birthday: Poppa has been in a terrible accident. Mibs develops the singular mission to get to the hospital and prove that her new power can save her dad. So she sneaks onto a salesman’s bus . . . only to find the bus heading in the opposite direction. Suddenly Mibs finds herself on an unforgettable odyssey that will force her to make sense of growing up -and of other people, who might also have a few secrets hidden just beneath the skin.

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Tab November recommendations

If you want information on ordering online, go to the scholastic book page on this blog, or see Mrs. Ikeda in 1103.

TruceTruce by two-time Newberry Honor book author Jim Murphy is an amazing true story.

On July 29th 1914, the world’s peace was shattered as the artillery of the Austria-Hungary Empire began shelling the troops of the country to its south. What followed was like a row of falling dominoes as one European country after another rushed into war. Soon most of Europe was fighting in this calamitous war that could have been avoided. This was, of course, the First World War.

But who could have guessed that on December 25 the troops would openly defy their commanding officers by stopping the fighting and having a spontaneous celebration of Christmas with their “enemies”?

In what can only be described as a Christmas Miracle, this beautiful and heartrending narrative will remind everyone how brotherhood and love for one another reaches far beyond war and politics.

Picture 6The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

A charming and inventive story of a child struggling to find her identity at the turn of the 20th century. As the only girl in an uppercrust Texas family of seven children, Calpurnia, 11, is expected to enter young womanhood with all its trappings of tight corsets, cookery, and handiwork. Unlike other girls her age, Callie is most content when observing and collecting scientific specimens with her grandfather. Bemoaning her lack of formal knowledge, he surreptitiously gives her a copy of The Origin of Species and Callie begins her exploration of the scientific method and evolution, eventually happening upon the possible discovery of a new plant species. Callie’s mother, believing that a diet of Darwin, Dickens, and her grandfather’s influence will make Callie dissatisfied with life, sets her on a path of cooking lessons, handiwork improvement, and an eventual debut into society. Callie’s confusion and despair over her changing life will resonate with girls who feel different or are outsiders in their own society. Callie is a charming, inquisitive protagonist; a joyous, bright, and thoughtful creation. The conclusion encompasses bewilderment, excitement, and humor as the dawn of a new century approaches. Several scenes, including a younger brother’s despair over his turkeys intended for the Thanksgiving table and Callie’s heartache over receiving The Science of Housewifery as a Christmas gift, mix gentle humor and pathos to great effect. The book ends with uncertainty over Callie’s future, but there’s no uncertainty over the achievement of Kelly’s debut novel.—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA

Picture 7The 39 Clues Book 6: In Too Deep by Jude Watson. In this 6th book, Amy and Dan Cahill must follow the clues and travel across the deepest oceans on the trail of a famous aviator. Six more cards are included in this book for your participation in the online 39 Clues game.