Today we’re sharing an Event spotlight featuring Kristi Oda of Hawaii Educators W-rite, a group that meets here at Impact Hub HNL.
Andrea Bertoli (AB): Tell me more about Hawaii Educators W-rite.
Kristi Oda (KO): The W-rite group is an inspired community of educators who support each other: we do this by carving out time each month to gather in a creative space to reflect and write. This atmosphere and intention cultivate a rich atmosphere for sharing and growing among our peers and friends. These events do not have an agenda and are totally self-directed, which gives everyone the opportunity to informally connect and bring a vibrant energy to our role as educators in the community.
AB: What pulled you towards this type of activism/work?
KO: We want to help nourish the writers from Hawaii and give educators a platform from which they can share their unique voices.
The media has continually reported a narrative of broke teachers in broken schools. The public deserves to hear a wide variety of stories from educators doing the work across our state. There are many things Hawaii educators have found to work that simply need to be shared, spread, and adapted. This tells a richer story of education here in the state.
AB: What are some of the founding values behind your group (and the work)?
KO: So often we get caught up in daily life, so this is about the importance of taking time for self-care, specifically to reflect and design a new path in our work with the overall goal of fostering leadership, collaboration, wellness, and growing a healthy local network of supportive relationships. As educators, in addition to school responsibilities, we work on achieving certifications, degrees, creating curriculum, communicating with families, sharing our work in presentations, and receiving grants for future projects. Some educators need essential time and space in order to be empowered to find and share their stories & voices.
Networking educators from various school levels, communities, and roles, such as parent liaisons, administrators, classroom and non-classroom educators is important to work to break down barriers and dissolve tensions that threaten collaboration.
AB: How can people get involved if they are interested?
KO: If you are an educator in Hawaii, find us online or check out motivated HI educators on Twitter #808educate. If you aren’t an educator and like our work and want to partner, reach out anyway to connect and see how you can participate or support. And if you have friends that work as educators, please invite them to collaborate with us.
AB: Any upcoming events we can share with our audience?
KO: We have three more events happening in July: two online, one at Kāne’ohe Elementary, and an additional monthly meetup at Impact Hub on July 31.
- July 17 #808educate Twitter chat on Social Media for Educators
- July 20 808Unconference where educators create topics on the spot and participate in sessions about shared interests (bit.ly/808uncon)
- July 31 W-rite session at Impact Hub HNL + guest author -retired principal Jan Iwase (6:30pm-8:00pm)
Thanks, Kristi, for taking the time to share your event with us!