Union Celebrations, Sibling Stories, and Honoring Non-tested Brilliance

Union Celebrations, Sibling Stories, and Honoring Non-tested Brilliance
(Originally posted September 21, 2013)

Blogger Image Diane Aoki

Today I spent the day at the Big Island Labor Alliance Celebration of Labor held in Kona this year. It was a wonderful event organized by the labor unions for their families affiliated with the AFL-CIO, to which HSTA just became an affiliate. The entertainment, Da Bradahs and some local bands, was awesome - kept you smiling and laughing and in a good mood all day. We all supported the Westside Eagles, a pop warner football team, for which a few of my students and former students play. The team sold plate lunches (Ono-licious pork and peas and smoked meat and cabbage) for a fund raiser and the unions bought plate lunches for their members who came. It was great to see several of my students and former students and their parents in such a relaxing environment.


One of the activities run by Da Bradahs was for the kids to do a Simon Says game, which had a twist - if they laughed they were out. Difficult to not laugh at these funny comedians. There was a boy winner and a girl winner. A student that I have now ( a very good student by the way) got to second place for the girls. A student that I had a couple of years ago, her brother, and a football player, (and not great academically) got to first place for the boys. That was a victory in itself. They were so focused and would not be tricked! Now that takes smarts and control. But on top of that, there was a dance off, the DJ played all kinds of songs, from all different ethnicities and styles- Korean gangham, hula, Samoan, the Filipino duck dance, hip hop. The kids had to react quickly and dance to that style. This boy, was so good. I must say, he was brilliant. I love when I see kids who don't test well, who don't get good grades, who don't much like traditional schooling, but they shine in other ways. I love it, I love it. It only makes me more committed to be part of the recognition and facilitation of ALL kinds of brilliance. That's the kind of teacher I want to be.

Diane Aoki is a teacher at Kealakehe Elementary School.
This is an excerpt from her blog.

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