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 learning happens. 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 people." 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, useful feedback.
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 time?"
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 mindʻs curiosity."
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."