Posted on June 11, 2010
The other morning at 7:30 as I stood at the entrance of the elementary campus to open the gates, I peered through the slots and asked the children -- Are you ready to start the day? -- they cheered, "Yes, we're ready! Open the gate!" They streamed through quickly, eager to get to their classrooms and talk with new and old friends. Having visited every class this past week, I just have to say how impressed I am by the efforts of every teacher. Students are indeed immersed in learning, from hand-stitching quilts or building robots, to measuring lengths and distances to greeting one another in Mandarin. Class size is small so that children are able to receive individualized attention and many opportunities to work in groups of 2-3. And every teacher has at least one aide, a current MPI high school or middle school student or MPI alumnus, to assist in the classroom. For a glimpse into our summer school sessions, go to p5.midpac.edu and scroll down the page to any of the teacher's blogs. Some have included photos so that you have a better idea of the class. Expect teachers to post weekly blogs and a letter from me on the MPI website with weekly highlights.
Did your children talk about our first summer school assembly on Friday morning?
From preschool through fifth grade, we gathered in the dining room to meet the school staff and session teachers. Every teacher did a self-introduction and shared something interesting about themselves using a visual aid, a powerful learning tool that helps us to remember through visual association.
Let's see if this strategy worked. I'll introduce the teacher, the session he/she is teaching, and what I remember:
• Iris Ching, preschool Fun n' Sun: she loves to read and shared some books for the faculty to enjoy over the summer
• Will Stack, Reading & Writing Workshop and Music Camp: think "stack of pancakes" to remember his name
• Cindy Hoddick, Sewing & Knitting Magic; Art of Ikebana: she began hiking with her parents when she was a toddler and a newspaper article was written about her as the 4000th member of a hiking club when she was 9 years old
• Tiffany Byrne, Beginning Lego Robotics: she just returned from a restful vacation on Kaua'i; she held up sand from Kaua`i beaches still trapped in her pants' pocket
• Ella Kau Garcia, The Genius of Invention: she's also an artist and shared photos of beautiful paintings
• Ian Okamoto, Reading & Writing Workshop: he dressed as a pirate for Halloween and his dog sported a costume as well
• Jessica Haworth, Reading & Writing Workshop: as a child, she could open her mouth bigger than anyone else!
• Meri Okano, Math Adventures: she brought a wooden spoon -- she loves to cook and enjoys testing new recipes
• Shawn Williamson, Math Adventures: he just won first place in a recent Honolulu triathlon and loves to ride a bike
• Christina Kashiwabara, Lights! Camera! Action!: she'll be on her way to Disneyland in a few weeks and collects Tigger stuffed animals (Kevin Tokuda continues as the teacher for the remaining weeks)
• Jayna Le Page, preschool Fun n' Sun: her visual aids were her two children -- her treasures -- who are also in MPI Summer School
• Appi Yashiro, Art Camp: one of her hobbies is making crafts, such as musubi yarn magnets
• Jennifer Matsumoto, Jump Start Kindergarten: she shared a photo of her husband and young son and introduced her daughter, also attending the summer program
• and myself, Edna Hussey, principal: a ceramic teapot painted with Tuscany sunflowers from a recent trip to Italy
The strategy works! Ask your children who and what they remember from the faculty introductions. Perhaps they can also remember the melody we sang at the beginning and end of the assembly, led by teachers Will Stack and Jessica Haworth.
Other faculty who are teaching but were unable to attend the assembly are:
Noelani Vitarelli, Jump Start Kindergarten
Douglas Chun, Mandarin language
Wil Chock, Sports Camp
Ivan Threlkind, Intermediate Lego Robotics
Bruce Black, Ocean Explorations
We also recognized students and staff who are celebrating a birthday in June -- about 30 of us!
You're welcome to attend the next assembly on June 25, 8:30am, in the dining room. Various classes will take center stage to share what they've learned in their summer sessions. The last assembly is July 9, same time and place.
Enjoy the teachers' blogs, this amazingly sunny three-day weekend, and 200th celebration of King Kamehameha. Ahh, summer.
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey