Tag Archives: education

Sustainability w/Manu

Manu Aluli Meyer continues to be my mentor and guide so the fact that she continues to put herself out there, continues to work on new projects is inspiration to me. She just filmed this video podcast and so I am sharing it here. I hope to continue to work on this ‘ike, hōʻike, [k}new knowledge which is old knowledge and logical knowledge.

Tagged , ,

The Joy of Teaching

When I realized that unless I wanted to get into administration, I had nowhere up to go and only out, I decided that teaching pre-service teachers or teacher candidates was the way to do something mo’o worthy. It took 3 years to get my Ed.D. and 1 year to find the job, but now that I am in it, I feel like this is definitely the mo’olelo that I want to tell.

I just spent the day observing two of my beginning students at two different schools. I was trying to get to three of them but their lessons would have overlapped and their schools are all about 10 or more miles apart. Still, these three women showed so much promise and the kids really adored them. One student at Makakilo Elementary in pre-K did a color lesson with the Mixed Up Chameleon and celery sticks as paint brushes. The other student in a 5th grade class at Pearlridge Elementary did a lesson on finding volume with volumetric cubes and bases.

I am a realist. At the end of class when one of my students was sharing a negative experience that they were dealing with in their school, I said teaching will break your heart. Teach anyway.

These teacher candidates today taught like this was the most important job. And it is. And I am so proud of them.

Here are some pictures from the student that I could not get to. She is doing a lesson on understanding an author’s point of view and students choose props that represent important details/ideas and put it on a story apron that she is wearing. This was a third grade classroom at August Ahrens Elementary. According to my department, all the teacher candidates really had to do was read a book. I just knew that they could do so much more, and they did.

My heart is full now.

Juli with her apronthe apron

Tagged , ,

Online MEd with the University of South Carolina


What: a fully online Masters of Education degree designed for working teachers through the University of South Carolina. This M.Ed. is structured to fit the process for National Board Certification. In this program, you will be empowered to become a highly-effective teacher leader with broad educational leadership training.

Why: with multiple start dates, you start when you’re ready, willing and able.

start date

Tagged , , , ,

Hihiʻo: Dream, Vision

Hihi’o[1]: Exploring Nainoa’s Dilemma

            We are a group of women in a graduate level cultural diversity class, all educators, sitting in the frigid classroom on Sand Island listening to Nainoa Thompson talk about his dilemma, the reason why he doesn’t feel ready to start the worldwide voyage. He has hauled himself out of the sick bed. His eyes are still feverish. On the whiteboards surrounding us are notes and maps and quickly scrawled thoughts and questions. We are in the lair of a madman or a genius, most likely both. We are not water people. We are not here to help with the logistics of the sail, nor are we the money people. We are just teachers. We are one of hundreds of teachers that he’s already talked to. We are not here to be trained by his Polynesian Voyaging Society team. Instead, we are here to listen to his dream and his vision. We are here to help him problem solve, because he will not sail until our educational system in Hawai’i can not only serve the Hawaiian students, but can be a model to save indigenous education around the world. It is as important to him as having a well-trained crew and a safe route. This is his mana’o lana. Mana’o – thought, idea, belief, opinion, theory, thesis, intention, meaning, suggestion, desire, want. Lana – floating, buoyant. He is sharing this lofty, floating, buoyant idea. He is saying it out loud to as many people as will listen so that the mana will build by speaking his truth.

The idea is not new. Dr. Manu Meyer, my master’s level advisor, always talks about Hawaiian epistemology as the game changer for education around the world. I look to the other women. Half of them are department of education teachers, the rest of us are at independent schools. None of us are new to the education field so I would think they would be more jaded, but as Nainoa is sharing his vision, his “seeing Tahiti,” they see it too. It’s an exciting night with a transformative leader. Mana’o ‘i’o – faith, confidence. It’s a Herculean task that takes collaboration and community buy in, but he has the skill to empower individuals to fulfill their kuleana and go beyond to better the organization, the community, etc. He strives to improve the education system by fully integrating followers into core functions. He keeps saying, I’m not a teacher. I know the canoe. You know education. It’s a challenge for us. It’s not about planning curriculum for the worldwide voyage. It’s about transforming education for the world, and he doesn’t want togo until it’s done.

While reading the Santamaria case studies, I realize that getting grants and creating a PVS “school” for teachers is one thing, but acknowledgement must come first, not just by teachers, but also by those in power. Teaching is political, which means that it can also be an act of empowerment, advocacy, revolution, and liberation as long as we acknowledge that colonization is widespread in society (52). This is not just true in American society, but as we look at boat people around the world (not ship people, boat people in Vietnam, South Africa, Philipines, etc.), we can really see the impact of colonization. If we do not acknowledge that we are a colonized, marginalized people, we can’t move forward. There is only so much red dirt we can sweep under the rug. Ultimately, what I’m learning is that we, as native leaders in our own right, need to be a political participant. We need to latch onto a hihi’o, recognize our kupuna path, even if it’s in another’s vision, then put our being into that work in order to create social change. We are in this program because we occupy a liminal space that determines our political path. We are nothing but awake. We just thought we were asleep.



Santamaria, L.J. & Santamaria, A.P. (2012). Applied critical leadership in education:

 Choosing change. New York: Routledge.


[1] a dream or vision

Tagged , ,

What Should Be the Focus of Schools?

Why School?Why School? Reclaiming Education for All of Us

Mike Rose

The New Press (2009)

Hardcover: 192 pages

I don’t tout a book that I’ve never read, just as I don’t give students a writing assignment that I haven’t already written myself, but the National Writing Project book group ning is having an online discussion of this book and the coversations have been quite intriguing. Imagine, adult conversation centered around big questions. It made me feel like a professional again. If you too are yearning for those adult conversations, this is a great group to join.

From the New Press website:

A powerful and timely exploration of this country’s public education goals, and how they are put into practice, by the award-winning author and educator
I ask how to educate a vast population, what to teach and how, who will do it, what the work will mean. We still ask these questions because we haven’t satisfactorily answered them. And the way we answer them says a lot about who we are—and what we want to become.

In the tradition of Jonathan Kozol, this little book is driven by big questions. What does it mean to be educated? What is intelligence? How should we think about intelligence, education, and opportunity in an open society? Why is a commitment to the public sphere central to the way we answer these questions?

Drawing on forty years of teaching and research, from primary school to adult education and workplace training, award-winning author Mike Rose reflects on these and other questions related to public schooling in America. He answers them in beautifully written chapters that are both rich in detail—a first-grader conducting a science experiment, a carpenter solving a problem on the fly, a college student’s encounter with a story by James Joyce—and informed by a deep and powerful understanding of history, the psychology of learning, and the politics of education.

Rose decries the narrow focus of educational policy in our time: the drumbeat of test scores and economic competition. Why School? will be embraced by parents and teachers alike, and readers everywhere will be captivated by Rose’s eloquent call for a bountiful democratic vision of the purpose of schooling.

Mike Rose, a professor in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, is the author of Lives on the Boundary, The Mind at Work, and Possible Lives. Among his many awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Grawemeyer Award in Education, and the Commonwealth Club of California Award for Literary Excellence in Nonfiction. He lives in Santa Monica.

Tagged , ,

Learn Vocabulary through Cartoons

Weboword is a website dedicated to teaching vocabulary visually.

If students are visual learners this is a great site for learning vocabulary. Picture 1 Not only does the site give a daily word, it also gives a visual, a sentence, a definition and information on the root of the word.

Why I like this: the more exposure students have to vocabulary, the more chances they have to learn new words. Also, by giving a visual picture, students have more ways to learn a word.

Tagged , , , ,