Shaping the promise in every child begins with the individual teacher and continues, ad infinitum, with the support of “a whole village.” The journey’s first step is one of reflection: who are we, why are we teaching, and why do we remain in teaching?
The answers are diverse; yet, there are similarities. We all believe that the education of our students begins with literacy. Literacy in a technological age has branched out from the reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmatic of the Industrial Age to include not only technology, but also visual, information, and intertextuality literacies.
Our challenge, under the No Child Left Behind Policy, is daunting and we must accept with a positive “I can” attitude to give it a chance to be successful.
No teacher should feel isolated in this task. The International Literacy Association (ILA), of which the Aloha State Council is a charter member, is our lifeline in these unchartered seas. Let us begin with membership in our island councils (Ka Hui Heluhelu, Hawaii Island Council, and Maui Literacy Council) to navigate and chart the rough seas of teaching literacy.
The Aloha State Council (ASC) serves as the immediate line of support between IRA and the tri-island councils. Shaping the Promise in Every Child Lori Gomez, ASC President The important thing about Aloha State Council is that it is committed to shaping the promise in every child.
It nurtures the belief that when words have wings, truth, reality take flight in the behavior of the young. It embraces diversity in its membership and weaves a tapestry of unity with threads of advocacy, professional development, research, and global literacy.
And, separated by miles of calm, blue Pacific waters, it serves as a “tsuji” through the three island councils. Our vision is simple: make ourselves felt in the community, state, nation as champions of literacy, also for 3-4-year-olds in early childhood education.
Plans are being crafted to make that vision visible statewide this year. In addition, ASC is also planning a mini-conference in Hilo with a theme of “Story Telling.” Mark your calendars and as a community of learners, let us meet, talk story, and network with each other in our efforts to make literacy Job One.
Furthermore, we are trying to organize ourselves to submit a proposal to host the Western Regional IRA Conference here in Hawaii. We ask for your help and support. Join us. Yes, there is strength not only in our similarities but also in our diversities. How will we make a difference in the life of a child? There is an old Chinese saying that lingers, “The fragrance of roses stays on the hand Shaping the Promise in Every Child… of the one who gives them away.”
Tomorrow, when you walk into your classroom and are greeted by eager learners, close not your door to the outside world, and be aware that the parents are, of course, a child’s first educators. Allow the air, the environment to blend into your class to help you shape the promise in every child, petal by petal; scent by scent; color by color; and shape by shape.
May your journey continue to be as awesome as the promise of a brilliant Hawaiian sunset in the whisper of a full moon against a clear, starlit nite. We owe it to our students to make a difference in their lives. See also this post about Social Language Development Test.