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A Mosaic of a Learning Community

A Mosaic of a Learning Community
Dr. Edna Hussey

My blog topics are inspired by observations in classrooms, meetings I have with various individuals or groups, photos I’ve taken from my walk-throughs. Sometimes it’s a moment. While written for a general audience, the entries work like weekly reflections where I hope readers like yourselves are seeing a mosaic of preschool and elementary school culture. So what follows are three impressions.

Every month the parent group, Nā ʻOhana Pueo, meet to discuss special activities they organize — we have many events each month! Whether on Zoom or on campus, I am always humbled by the generous spirit of service and leadership of these volunteer parents. In addition to being the hands and feet to get the work done, they also hold the parent community together through the parent networks in classrooms and grade-levels. Communication is as close as an email or phone call. Parents are truly the wind beneath our wings.

Classroom inquiries will be arriving at temporary stopping places only by virtue of the approaching end of the school year. But where many classes are in their inquiry journeys, the pace is picking up. Research trips and community experts add depth to the learning, and these experiences also help to sustain the momentum. The other week, a Hawaiian cultural specialist made her last visit to the multiage third and fourth grade classrooms to check on the wauke garden. These plants will help students investigate other aspects of how generations of Hawaiians lived in close relationship with the ʻaina. In a multiage first and second grade class, a Hokuleʻa navigator explained how crews were able to find their way across oceans using the night sky as a celestial compass. The preschoolers are cooking up a pop-up for newly-admitted families to Mid-Pacific as an extension of their journey that began with questions about having an ID.

This past Saturday, we hosted a workshop for early-learning educators with Dr. George Forman, a child psychologist with expertise in the work of Piaget and a researcher of the Reggo-Emilia approach. We have been consulting with Dr. Forman for over ten years. His essential message was for teachers to go beyond describing student behavior or performance and going deeper into the strategies and theories that illustrate childrenʻs logic and complex thinking.

These three examples of a supportive parent group, the evolving classroom inquiries, and professional learning represent a thriving, active learning community. When I arrive on campus, I can expect that the day will yield Something new, Something to think about, Something surprising. And when I drive home in the late afternoon, there will be yet another Something that I had not considered or that caused me to take a moment to ponder. I’m grateful for the mosaic of learning that we create daily together.

E Kūlia Kākou! Let’s strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.

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