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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

HSTA members share uplifting stories during the COVID-19 crisis

Our educators are working hard to support Hawaii's public school keiki and their communities

Distance cannot separate us!

As we grapple with the far-reaching impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the Hawaii State Teachers Association wants to inspire positivity and hope. We asked our members: How are you and your colleagues supporting your students, your community, and each other during this difficult time?

This post will be updated regularly with positive images and stories from our educators.

Share your story with us

Laura Darrow, Kaohao Public Charter School

“The tutu of a student gave me these socks and it reminded me why I teach and that teachers have big hearts! 🍎❤️🍎 #WearRedForEd ”

Posted on Tuesday, May 26

Jennifer Kanoa, Makakilo Elementary

“Teachers care! 💕 Sign waving while social distancing. Letting our kids know we miss them.”

Posted on Tuesday, May 26

Teiryn Shelton, Waimalu Elementary

“I transformed my laundry room into my classroom!”

Posted on Friday, May 22

Melanie Matsuda, Kohala Elementary

“Doing a GoNoodle with my students during Zoom!”

Posted on Friday, May 22

Leilani Roberts, Waianae Intermediate

“Multi-generational learning and instruction (mother, son/uncle, granddaughter) as we explore the life cycles of a plant.”

Posted on Friday, May 22

Erin Graig, Kahakai Elementary

“Delivering lunches.”

Posted on Thursday, May 21

Jenny Wada-Goode, Wheeler Middle

“Each week my kids and I film a video tutorial that demonstrates different project ideas. We call it ‘What’s Up Wednesday.’ We’ve shown students how to make your own terrariums, crazy pens, tie dye shirts, and more. We really enjoy it and look forward to filming each week!”

Posted on Thursday, May 21

Elise Anderson, Wahiawa Elementary

“My students made cards for first responders.”

Posted on Thursday, May 14

Naedine Irish Cielo Amoroso, Alvah Scott Elementary

“Google Meets with the best class of SY 2019–2020! If we can endure distance learning together, we will get through anything that life throws our way! We may be physically isolated, but thanks to technology, we are always connected. Learning can still happen outside of our classroom walls. The sky's the limit!”

Posted on Thursday, May 14

Kristen Eastvedt, Hauula Elementary

“Creating learning packets for my kindergarten students!”

Posted on Wednesday, May 13

Wendy Nickl, Kohala Middle

“I'm a registrar working at home after three school meetings from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.!”

Posted on Wednesday, May 13

Gregory Poppy, Lahaina Intermediate

“Encouraging our students to work.”

Posted on Tuesday, May 12

Amber Riel, Waianae High

“My dining room has been transformed into my new remote classroom and mask sewing factory. I spend my days creating videos of example math problems for my awesome students, evenings checking in on my amazing Life is a Performance Task PD participants, and nights sewing face masks for my essential worker husband, his coworkers, and other family members from here to Iowa.”

Posted on Tuesday, May 12

Vanessa Humphreys, Mililani High

“When we first got word of school shutdowns, I took pictures of our empty classroom with messages posted to Google Classroom. I wish the circumstances were different, but I still wanted to wish my students well, despite the physical distance.”

Posted on Monday, May 11

Ruth Jarneski, Keaukaha Elementary

“What distance learning really looks like as parents try to teach from home.” Happy Mother’s Day to all the hard-working mamas in our HSTA ohana! ❤️

Posted on Sunday, May 10

SueAnn Richards, Iroquois Point Elementary

“Every Friday is FUN Friday, even while distance learning via Webex. This past week was Fancy Fun Friday. My first-grade students were invited to dress up in their fanciest outfits while we discussed fancy words, including adjectives and vocabulary. I was ecstatic to see them ready to learn in their most dapper ensembles.”

Posted on Friday, May 8

Jena Otto, Jefferson Elementary

“Shrank myself and mailed one to each student. Gave them a choice board of different activities to complete with me! One student even took me surfing!”

Posted on Thursday, May 7

Sarah Milianta-Laffin, Ilima Intermediate

“Through the HIDOE 2020 Innovation Grant, Ilima Intermediate received two 3D printers. With admin permission, the printers are at my house and printing PPE 24/7 for medical staff at Hawaii Pacific Health. To date, our collection of public schools, spearheaded by Stevenson Middle School teacher Trish Morgan, have delivered 4,000 masks to first responders.”

Posted on Wednesday, May 6

Trish Morgan, Stevenson Middle

“Stevenson Helping Heroes 👩‍⚕️👨‍⚕️”

Posted on Wednesday, May 6

Michelle Lim, Pearl Harbor Elementary

“Teaching students with special needs online requires me to think outside of the box, even if it means feeling completely ridiculous like bringing in Hector to keep kids focused and entertained!”

Posted on Wednesday, May 6

Jenna Felipe, Aiea Elementary

“Packet distribution at our housing complex to make sure all students have equal access opportunities to learn.”

Posted on Tuesday, May 5

Dana Shishido, Wheeler Elementary 3rd-grade teacher

Like many educators across the state, Dana Shishido, a third-grade teacher at Wheeler Elementary School, has been sending video messages to her students and their families as she provides enrichment and learning activities remotely. She wants her students to know she misses seeing them up close, and while she’s sad that in-person classes won’t resume this school year, she’s proud of them for continuing to work on their general learner outcomes (GLOs), even at a distance.

Posted on Tuesday, April 28

Logan Okita, Nimitz Elementary 1st-grade teacher

“Our students are military dependents and April is the Month of the Military Child. We're missing the activities that we normally do as a school to celebrate the sacrifices that they make while their parents serve our country. They are courageous and resilient. We ‘Purple Up’ for them!”

Posted on Friday, April 17

Emi Yamada, Pohakea Elementary 3rd-grade teacher

“The Pohakea staff is so awesome! We have very productive weekly virtual meetings with the whole faculty, grade levels, and committees. Everyone is still smiling and collaborating just like they would if I saw them in person. We crack jokes and cheer each other up, but maintain professionalism at the same time. The awesome coaches, fantastic counselors, and our amazing tech coordinator have all done a great job at guiding us through these uncharted waters of distance learning. This is our first time doing something like this, but we're all in this together! We may be isolated in our homes, but we don't feel alone. I feel so lucky to be a part of the Pohakea ʻOhana. We got this!”

(This photo was taken at last year’s annual volleyball tournament between four Ewa Beach elementary schools: Pohakea vs. Iroquois Point vs. Kaimiloa vs. Ewa Beach, a.k.a. the PIKE tournament.)

Posted on Sunday, April 5

Haley van Noord, Lahaina Intermediate science teacher

“A student was the first to come to a Google Meet up for her class and told me her birthday was going to be the next day. She mentioned she was turning 13, and was ‘going to make the best of things,’ but I could tell she was feeling down. I called her mother to ask if I could drive by their home with a socially distanced birthday message. The next morning, I put on my craziest clothes and grabbed a birthday banner. My roommate drove and I sat in the back of my hatchback blasting Alvin the Chipmunks singing ‘Happy Birthday’ through the car stereo. My student’s mother sent her to get the mail at the perfect time! We came rolling down the street and she was so surprised! After making a U-turn and parading back down the street one more time, we exchanged big smiles and a wave. I hope she had a wonderful day celebrating with her family!”

Posted on Friday, April 3

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