Our Writing Lives - Progressive Philosophy & Pedagogy - 06.09.2022
"... the learning is in the work, not in the final product;
many of us are familiar with this idea: ma ka hana ka ike.
The learning is in the work. The regular work we do changes
us, if we let it. For me, writing is like this.
The learning is not in the thing at the end. It is not in
the beautiful deck, for example, but it is in the scuffed
knuckles, the stripped nails, the sandpaper, the sore
muscles, the measuring and remeasuring, the hammering, in
the sips of cold beer and in the sweat on our skin."
Living Near St. Catherine School - Hawaii Pacific Review - 06.02.2022
"I live just a few tenths of a mile from the school now, up
on a hill over town. Every Sunday I hear the bells ring,
and it is a pleasant sound. But as the chimes roll over the
treetops like the church breathing out a sigh and a prayer,
if I think of anything, I think of that book flying across
the room, I think of the sound of Sara crying, I think of
Alma telling me I had nice shoes and how Sandra always
talked to me at lunch and how strange it is to miss a
friend you haven’t seen in 30 years because you will never
see her again."
Our Shells, Or What Happened When the Octopus Left Its Shell - 04.25.2022
"We learn about people’s beliefs and investigate our own;
we think about and talk about how people in power try to
keep that power. We grapple with the unkindess of the world
and our kuleana, our reciprocal responsibility, in the face
of that. And when one student is talking about how they
feel marginalized because they are queer, or because they
have an accent, or they are from the Marshall Islands,
another is numbing themselves with their phone."
Stop, Look, and Listen: Kilo - 02.22.2022
"We can start by reading the stories told in the geology of
our place, and the mythology of our place, the indigenous
and western science of our place, the current events and
dramas of our place, and all the other stories we can find,
in the way the leaves move when the wind blows this way
instead of that or the way the water and shore looks as the
tide rises on a full moon instead of an ʻole moon."
Where Learning Happens - 01.27.2022
"He is really an ambassador of what kuleana is, what
building relationships is, and the ocean...It’s not about
reading, it’s just natural, and now he can bring up these
examples, and his classmates are like, “Brah, why are you
the one getting the A?” And he’s like, “I don’t know, it’s
just…writing what I know.” It’s a testament to where
As We Find the Words - 12.21.21
"Whether we are trying to describe the feeling of touching
hands with someone electric or we are trying to remember a
calculus equation, when we are forced to struggle to find
the words, we discover more than we knew before."
Professional Learning for Creative Practice - 08.2021
"Learning this way underscores our responsibility to give
credence to imagination, to believe and to show our
students that being curious is important, that it is in
fact key to growing and learning and becoming empathetic
What is a Text? - 09.09.2021
"I eventually push it too far, trying to convince the
students that the desks they are sitting in are texts,
built to communicate a certain belief system, to manipulate
students into behaving in a specific way, purposefully
designed to communicate to students that they need face
this way, they need to work and listen and write right
here, feet on the ground, separate from neighbors.
Simple Formative Assessment - 06.13.2021
"So, I decided to just ask my students one simple question:
What did you learn this week? I am not sure students are
used to being asked this question, but it is a powerful
self reflective tool, a way for students to prod and track
their own learning, as well as a perfect way for me to see
the students’ growth while giving regular, purposeful,
Questioning Our Most Dearly Held Beliefs - 12.17.2020
"I understand time moves in one direction for most of
us, and I understand we live in a public education world
that accepts notions of present-ness and timeliness as
hallmarks of learning, but can we challenge these
beliefs? Can we understand what the river learned about
time, that it is at the source and the ocean at the same
Curiosity as a Planning Tool - 10.28.2020
"And I understood in this connection a way to make so
much of our country’s struggles with race real for my
students, who routinely say racism doesn’t exist in
Hawaiʻi Nei. Now Joseph Kekuku became a path to make
Frederick Douglass’s struggles real, to make Breonna
Taylor’s murder matter, for example, to these children
in the Pacific."
So, What is Left When the World Shuts Down? - 08.2020
from "Educating During the Early Weeks of the 2020 Pandemic"
"...my days of nothing start, as they always have,
around 5:15 am, with a cup of coffee before the rest of
my house wakes up. In the stillness, I sip and I read
and I research and I constantly craft lesson ideas,
collect bits of text or song or art, for my students,
for my wife, for my colleagues, for my kids, for my own
Using Bodies to Develop and Express Ideas - 07.27.2020
from "Movement Helps Make 'Learning Joyful and Magical'"
"We rarely stayed in one place for more than 10 minutes
and we rarely did the same type of learning work for
more than 15-20 minutes at a time. The simple protocols
in response to that first horrible week of school 13
years ago made a great difference but didn't take us
all the way. I knew there was some way I could take
movement further and make the movement itself part of
the learning, the way I know students learn by writing,
by talking, by reading. I didn't want it to just be a
break between learning activities but I couldn't quite
figure it out."
The 'Magic'Teachers Need from Their Principals - 10.9.2019
"Teachers are magicians, conjuring kindness and empathy
as we create spaces of togetherness that are safe for
vulnerability and risk-taking.
When we open our classrooms at the end of each summer,
we...find our students—Ali, Kai, Franz, Junnel—right
where they are, and we accept them without wishing they
were different. This welcome, we know, is the first
step toward building trust and community, just one
small moment among many."