Not Just Any Place
In the days before we celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday, this past week serves as a prime example of the many reasons just on our campus why I am grateful. Opportunities to see members of our Mid-Pacific community serving as beacons of light and hope in education.
After autoline this past Wed through Friday, I left campus to participate in the 15th annual Schools of the Future conference at the Convention Center, a gathering of nearly 1400 educators from private, public, charter, preschool through post-secondary Hawaiʻi schools. Mid-Pacific was a participant in the first conference held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village where representatives from preschool through high school shared how we were working together as a school to provide a progressive 21st century educational program. We are still evolving, trying to maintain pace with the forays into artificial intelligence (AI) in education. Mid-Pacific faculty shared how AI is being integrated into learning in the middle and high school. Several high school students described how they have been accessing information to translate challenging texts, generate questions, analyze literary texts, or support their learning differences.
Nine members of Mid-Pacific’s preschool and elementary faculty presented their deeper-learning teaching practices to conference participants. There were well over 200 presenters. Preschool faculty Leslie Gleim, Robynne Migita, and Jordan Hasley explained last yearʻs project “Scribbles are Words” to a diverse audience, including high school educators.
Art Specialist Abbey Day shared how the artistic process supports social-emotional learning by having participants draw and paint.
Multiage 3rd/4th grade teacher Casey Link took teachers through solving mathematical problems using cuisennaire rods (manipulatives).
The Multiage 1st/2nd grade faculty team shared how one idea can develop into many iterations through studentsʻ questions.
While the conference was in full swing, so were students on campus. With guidance from Tech Specialist Taieya Kihe, students celebrated Computer Science Week with activities to help students understand how machines learn to recognize patterns in images, written text, or audio to manage time more efficiently and effectively from large databases. Self-driving cars or speech to text are some examples.
Two multiage 3rd-4th grade classes dipped into entrepreneurship by creating items to sell to their peers in an effort to raise funds for UNICEF. The funds purchase medicine and the technology to sustain clean water for children in underdeveloped countries. Recycled Pokemon cards, stress balls, and “lava” bottles were just some of the items sold in the Palila (CE) House.
Students from different classes have gifted these student-created drawings, which will serve as placements for the annual Thanksgiving meal prepared by the Salvation for those in need.
Jayme Sakai presented over 100 laminated placements to Rachel Kalauawa-Haupu, coordinator of this project for the Salvation Army. (Photos courtesy of Diane Kamioka)
All of these experiences just this past week fueled by the creativity, innovation, and artistry of master teachers/specialists with whom I am blessed to work and learn. For each of them I am grateful, as I am for my students and families. You have heard me say this before — Mid-Pacific is not just any place. Mid-Pacific is a beacon of light in education and hope for generations of learners.
With deep appreciation and gratitude for my school community. O Happy Day of Giving Thanks!
E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.