Hawaii Education Association to inspire and uplift educators through new program

The pandemic caused may teachers to pivot from in classroom to distance learning. HI Now host Kainoa Carlson learns how Wai’alae Elementary used innovative and new ways to keep their students safe.

Sponsored by Hawaii Education Association

The sudden transition to distance learning caused anxiety and apprehension for students, parents, and teachers alike. There was no set system for distance learning, so a lot of trial and error took place as teachers navigated the pandemic.

“Many of our teachers knew technology, and we kind of dabbled in technology, but the way that the pandemic brought about this whole change in education, they had to shift and adjust so quickly,” says Jodie Cheff, Head of Wai’alae Elementary. In order to adjust to the new learning system, Wai’alae Elementary created an outdoor learning space, replaced traditional cafeteria tables with student desks, and made an outdoor eating area. They also created their own “keiki desks”, small, durable, light weight desks that students can take anywhere on campus.

This year is the 100th year of the Hawaii Education Association and was the precursor to many other organizations including the Hawaii State Teachers Association, HGEA, and the UH System Professional Faculty. They’ve awarded over $300,000 in scholarships over the last 20 years and supported high school clubs that encourage education professions. This year, they are launching a new virtual program called Educator Connection. They hope to inspire and uplift educators by sharing stories of innovation and the things they have done to support the teachers, students, and family communities.

For more information: www.hawaiieducationassociation.org