On October 26th, 2017 at PBS Hawaiʻi over 100 public, private and charter school educators and leaders gathered at the 4th Hawai'i Education Leadership Summit (HELS) to create school innovation, creativity and imagination sail plans for 2018 and beyond. HELS is now the Leading Schools of the Future (LSOTF) conference, which is a pre-conference day for Schools of the Future (SOTF), organized by the Hawaiʻi Association of Independent Schools and the Hawaiʻi Society for Technology in Education.
On January 27th, 2018 ʻAha Kūkā, A Gathering Around Skills, Habits and Dispositions went on the road to Ewa Makai Middle School, where 10 public, private and charter school teams (which included students) worked for eight hours to develop "sail plans" for 21st century assessments and transcripts.
This was ʻAha Kūkā, A Gathering Around Skills, Habits and Dispositions, January 25th, 2018 at the Bishop Museum. 100 public, private and charter leaders, plus Ted Dintersmith, Tony Wagner and Nainoa Thompson, engaged in three back-to-back town hall meetings around the essential skills our kids need to thrive in this 21st Century.
On April 5-6, 2019, over 250 educator stakeholders gathered in Waimea, Hawaiʻi from across the pae ʻāina for the HĀ Summit to EXPERIENCE HĀ, build a COLLECTIVE understanding of the HĀ framework, SHARE knowledge and resources in effort to support effective use, and CONNECT to a network of practitioners. The theme of the summit was ʻO wai kou inoa? Summit experiences connected to the concept of knowing who you are by knowing the names of the waters of your place that feed can nourish you in mind, body, and spirit.
Hawaiʻi has a thriving ecosystem of learning and support for teachers and teacher-leaders across the education spectrum. Examples include robust teacher professional development centers, comprehensive supports for school and system leaders, trusted teacher education programs, innovative grassroots community initiatives, leadership development opportunities for high school students, and cross-sector partnerships that are paving exciting new directions for the future of our state. Hawai‘i-based professional development initiatives like these uplift local resources and expertise, bring valuable internal perspectives, and provide a strong foundation for external collaboration. At the April 2019 ‘Aha Kūkā gathering, we sought to build this ecosystem - of homegrown professional development opportunities for educators - to ensure that the experiences of children in our state are grounded in the diverse strengths of Hawaiʻi, and that locally-based, community-sourced, culturally-sustaining models of education have the capacity to create a better future society both here in Hawai‘i and beyond. In future blog posts we will highlight professional development events from around the islands. The format will be simple: 100-150 descriptive words and several photos. If you would like to submit an event to this blog, please click on the contact page! (With these Māla posts, we will demonstrate that it is not hard to tell Hawaiʻi is CHOKE with amazing, cutting edge professional development.)
Why did we build this website? Why are we developing the Network Map? Why did we gather over 60 professional development providers from around the State of Hawaiʻi to the Hanahau’oli Center for Professional Development for two days of programs? What is the meaning of all this? Back in January of 2018 a bunch of us crazy folks who care deeply about the future of education in Hawaiʻi gathered at the co-working space, BoxJelly to talk about public, private and charter professional development in our state. I hope I can speak for everyone in that conference room that night in saying we agreed that Hawaiʻi is largely beyond Why change? and well into How do we change? and What do we change? We agreed there was evidence that most professional development providers in our state don't know each other at all, or very well at all. We agreed that capacity building comes from shared responsibilities; we agreed that getting "all" (best as possible) of our providers, small, medium and large into the same room would be hugely productive and would lead to that shared sense of responsibility, maybe even a shared vision or, as we called it, Our New Bliss. Out of this idea came "Many Wa'a, One Voyage." In the late Fall of 2018, @MLTSinHawaii and its partner, Hanahau’oli School, invited a group of epic educator superheroes to help "stand up" what turned into a two-day, April 2019 event. Working really hard over months and months, we developed our program, executed our invites, arranged the logistics, and pestered RSVPs to submit information about their groups, offices and organizations, which we used to populate our Kumu map. Throughout, we were driven by a strong sense that we were doing "the right thing" for our Hawaiʻi. In the end, our belief that capacity would be built, on April 2nd and 3rd, 2019, was made manifest, but only time and much more work will prove the point.