Posted on January 12, 2013
From a third grader this past week in the morning autoline: "Christmas vacation was TOOO long! I wanted to come back to school already!" He was responding to my question, "How'd you like the two-week break?" I could only smile. Many children seemed genuinely eager and happy to be in school, several giving each other welcome hugs and many others walking briskly or running through the open gates. What happened to our children? In two weeks they look like they've grown a foot taller! The campus is alive again with the sound of their voices, and it's definitely a brighter new year because of them -- all 265 children!
We take pride in the eight University of Hawai`i seniors who begin their final semester as student teachers. Last semester as teacher candidates, they familiarized themselves with our school culture by spending two days each week in classrooms assisting students and planning a three-week unit of study, which they taught under the guidance of their mentor teachers. This semester they'll assume more teaching responsibilities, do more solo teaching, and participate in the assessment of student learning and conferences. Their mentors -- Kindergarten teachers Jen Matsumoto and Kelley Hitomi, multiage first and second grade teachers Donna Revard and Sarah Field, and multiage third and fourth grade teachers Arlene Holzman, Lucy Sanders, Torry Montes, and Tiffany Byrne -- speak highly of their apprentices who will soon become teaching professionals. Art teacher Jill Johnson will mentor a student from Miami University in Ohio after Spring break, and Leslie Gleim in the preschool often has early childhood education majors observing the preschool team as they interact with our youngest students. I am proud of the fact that our own MPI teachers have a significant role in preparing educators who will soon be working in public and private schools in the Hawai`i community.
This semester also heralds the height of admission season in the independent school community. For the next two weeks, I will be meeting with prospective preschool parents in evening sessions, and we will be assessing 3- and 4-year-olds on three weekends in January. From February through early April, assessment sessions are scheduled for applicants to kindergarten through fifth grade.
Check the teachers' blogs; many of them provided an overview of important school events January through March.
It's guaranteed that the second semester goes by nearly twice as fast as the first semester, so try to carve out some time each day to be with your children, and I do mean to be in the present, fully attentive and fully engaged in their lives. Childhood comes and goes quickly!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey
p.s.: A parent suggested that I explain the twelve days of Christmas since I had mentioned the first day of Christmas in a December blog. According to Christian tradition, the twelve days of Christmas begin the day after Christmas, December 26 through January 6. January 6 is the Feast of the Epiphany celebrating the 'shining forth' or revelation of God to mankind in human form, in the person of Jesus Christ. I actually like the idea of Christmas extended twelve more days! The Irish celebrate Epiphany as "little Christmas," as in the Magi bearing gifts. Anyone notice the Christmas tree in my office? It's there 365 days of the year!