Sunday, November 17, 2013

Random Thoughts and Reflections

My husband and I just came back from a short vacation to visit my son and his family on the mainland. Although we had a wonderful time, it can be challenging to not fall behind on everything we are asked to do as principals.  This is why I made sure to check my email throughout the day because I really dislike seeing my mailbox filled with unread messages.

So here are some random thoughts and reflections, some of which are a result of my recent vacation.

a)  Our grandson, a first grader, transferred to a charter school this year.  It's a STEAM school focusing on the arts in addition to science, technology, engineering, and math.  In our conversation with the principal, I learned that their charter schools face the same funding challenges as our charter schools in Hawaii.  In order to be competitive, charter schools need to have very supportive, generous parents or it may be difficult to provide the same level of services and the range of programs as state or district-funded schools.

b)  There is a video making its way on social media which shows a high school student testifying against what is happening in education in Tennessee.  This student is critical of the Common Core State Standards and teacher evaluation systems.  Kudos to this student for his thoughtful testimony about what he sees as one-size-fits-all education compromising creative and inspirational teaching.

c)  Last week when I was out-of-town, I assigned two teachers to run our faculty meeting.  From what I understand, they did a fabulous job!  Too often, I am so focused on making maximum use of the allocated time that even the icebreaker activities I plan are "work" and not "fun."  Why can't they be both?  At last week's meeting, our staff participated in a team-building activity, they brought refreshments, and teachers learned to use Google+ to post favorite recipes and share comments.  We now have our own private school community where we can share photos, invite others to events, and post videos, links, or favorites.  What a wonderful way to build relationships and share with those we may not have time to talk with during the busy school day!  (Mahalo, +Michelle Colte+Jerry Bevacqua, and +Lynele Basug!)

d)  Blogging is hard.  Making time to blog regularly can be a challenge especially when we are so busy with all the requirements of our profession.. I agreed to blog regularly when I signed up to be an #SAVMP mentor, but I am guilty of  occasionally having blogger's block or not knowing what to share.  A mentee pondered how she can keep up with her blog without it being an add-on.  I wish I knew how to respond to her because I'm trying to find that balance myself.

e)  I participated as a guest on two Google hangouts recently. Our school will be participating in a global "Hour of Coding" event during the month of December, and I want to learn to code, too!  Technology has enabled me to do things I never thought I would; I am constantly being challenged to get out of my comfort zone and learn/try something new. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Until next time . . . aloha!

This is such a sharp contrast to Hawaii, but this photo is evidence of the beauty and wonder of nature all around us.   
My husband and son are fans of American Restoration on The History Channel so we googled their location and took a tour of their facility.  

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