Monday, August 19, 2013

Welcome back, Kolea!

Today, I spotted my first Kolea of the season as I was waiting to tee off by hole #1 at Mililani Golf Course. The arrival of these birds always amazes me!  Frankly, I wasn't aware of these birds when I was younger, but in recent years, I've discovered more about these remarkable creatures.  Kolea are territorial, going back to the same location every year.  They live in Hawaii from the time they arrive in August until late April or early May when they leave to spend the summer months nesting in Alaska.  The amazing thing is that these small birds fly non-stop, almost 3,000 miles to get to Alaska and 3,000 miles back to Hawaii! 

Every time I see Kolea around the school, at parks, or the golf course, I am reminded about the lessons I can learn from these remarkable birds.  Just as the Kolea are focused and know where they want to go, I need to be a focused leader.  Every year, we work together as a school community to create our Academic Plan with a few targeted goals. By working and learning together, success will be more achievable.    

I cannot imagine being a bird as small as a Kolea, flying that kind of distance without stopping until reaching my destination!  It takes perseverance and withstanding challenges to be successful.  Likewise, as a school, we need to persevere despite the challenges that confront us. I feel disappointed every time I read negative comments about our educational system because I know how hard our teachers and staff work to support students so they can be successful, not just in school, but in life.  Teaching and learning is not just about the academics; rather, we need to give students opportunities to develop characteristics such as perseverance, to understand that anything worth doing will take effort and hard work.  This year, our teachers will be evaluated using the Educator Effectiveness System, and it will be a challenge.  However, by persevering and supporting each other, all of us -- teachers and administrators -- will improve as educators. This will lead to more effective teaching and learning at our school, and that is -- and will always be -- my goal as a school leader.  

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