December member video message from President Wil Okabe

Wil Okabe Video Message

HSTA continues to seek data from members about the EES implementation in order to provide that information to the Joint Committee.

View HSTA President Wil Okabe’s video message at:

Note:  If you are unable to click on the link above.  Please past it into the top of your browser.

“Bureaucratic solutions to problems of practice will always fail because effective teaching is not routine, students are not passive, and questions of practice are not simple, predictable, or standardized. Consequently, instructional decisions cannot be formulated on high then packaged and handed down to teachers.”

- Linda Darling-Hammond
from her award-winning book, The Right to Learn

I have received dozens of phone calls and e-mails about the implementation of the educator effectiveness system. This has been a tough few months with all the bureaucratic paperwork that is being required of you.  I recognize the lack of resources, time, training, and focus needed to implement the system properly.  So does HSTA.  This is why we are attempting to gather data regarding the implementation of the system throughout the year.

In late October HSTA co-sponsored with the University’s Department of Education, a forum with nationally recognized education expert Linda Darling-Hammond, who outlined what a good evaluation system should look like.
HSTA was in absolute accord with her recommendations.

I’ve said this before and you will hear it again from me:

•We want an evaluation system that is designed to improve the practice of teaching that results in improved student learning.
•We want a system that works in the best interests of teachers and the students they teach.

We need to hear from you – the practitioners – about what is working and what isn’t.  If we don’t have that data we won’t be able to quantify and quality our recommendations to the Joint Committee and influence changes to the evaluation system.

So, please take the time to respond to inquiries about the system from your school level leaders, your UniServ directors, and anyone else from HSTA who asks about your experience.  Keep up to date by reading HSTA’s “Lead the Profession” monthly bulletins and watch for a statewide EES survey in February, that will be conducted jointly by HSTA and DOE.
While I hope that you can get some rest and rejuvenation during this break, I also hope you take time to celebrate the successes you have achieved.

We are currently celebrating
•the 59 teachers who recently achieved national board teaching status.
•Kahaluu Elementary ‘s going green community service project;
•Kohala’s Student Credit Union’s outreach projects and financial literacy classes;
•The teacher advisors who nurture the whole child at Radford High School by offering a variety of clubs to meet the different interests of students.
•McKinley High School’s projects to raise money for those devastated by the typhoon in the Philippines
•Educating our keiki is everyone’s kuleana and there are many parenting resources available to families on Kauai through the Kauai schools network.

Let’s celebrate the every day successes that happen in classrooms around the state.  Your hard work should not go unnoticed.

I want to thank you for all you do and send best wishes to you and your families this holiday season.  Mahalo.

What do teachers do?

Good teachers do not simply convey information.  They identify the diverse needs of their students; they engage student interests, and build students’ confidence; they help develop team interaction and cooperation; they challenge their students and assist them in overcoming barriers.  They listen to students and identify student issues and concerns.  They enable student to think and use content knowledge.