Land Acknowledgements as Living Things

Land acknowledgements have become features of educational spaces. We’re in contact with them in email signatures, website homepages, at the start of conferences, and more, replicated or repeated seemingly from templates. In the classroom, land acknowledgements are often couched in a conversation with #decolonizing a lesson. But are these statements doing what we want them to do?  Continue reading Land Acknowledgements as Living Things

In Conversation: A Both/And from the Classroom

As many educators navigate a new school year, we want to remind ourselves and our community of the ongoing complexity and nuance that awaits us on this horizon. So we are sharing some of the #BothAndStories from educators who shared with us to create a space for reflection on all that the last year has brought to you, your students, your communities. We hope to honor the past as we all begin to look ahead. Continue reading In Conversation: A Both/And from the Classroom

Black History is every day

For me, my love of tea cakes began as an homage to my grandmother. I still see her rolling the dough and cutting the tea cakes with a glass jar, while I wait for them to come out of the oven. Tea cakes were what we had to connect us to our family, our community, and our past. My sisters and I in the mid 1980s decided to open a restaurant without really knowing what we were doing. We served soul food and one of the things we served was a tea cake. Tea cakes were always around in my life. I realized so many of my family members made tea cakes but they made them at home. We never had them in restaurants, but they were always around. So we decided to bring them into the restaurant. When the restaurant closed, I found someone who would convert my recipe into one that could be produced at a larger scale. Over time, my calling has become to elevate the tea cake to its rightful place as a cultural touchstone and pay homage to our ancestors. The tea cake was a way to still savor life and have something sweet even when things were hard.  Continue reading Black History is every day

Custodians of Education

I keep a map because the world is always trying to make me forget. Here is my father, who cleaned classrooms for 30 years, and my brothers, who clean classrooms today. My kuku wahine, who baked in the school cafeteria, and my obaasan, here, a different kind of custodian of education. She left school in the 9th grade because Jiichan said school wasn’t for girls. At 92, she still refers to her time in the classroom with delight. This is my mother, a ferocious leader and advocate, the principal of her school. And here is Bernice Pauahi Bishop. I come from a long legacy of custodians of education, and I hold these constellated histories to orient myself as a Kānaka Maoli and Yonsei teaching within a predominantly white institution. Continue reading Custodians of Education

Teaching the Art of Geography

curiosity to see and discover more has cultivated a zeal for travel, photography and diving. My journey is always crafted with the unfolding of a wall-sized paper map given to me by a world traveler. Oddly to some, my choice of destination is largely driven by how remote the location and how much ocean surrounds it.  I then immerse myself into learning everything I can about its people, points of interests, landscapes, culture, and history. My favorite part of the journey are the life-long memories that you return home with that get stitched into stories while sharing photos.  Continue reading Teaching the Art of Geography