On Wednesday, April 28, 2021, College of Education (COE) Institute for Teacher Education (ITE) Elementary students collaborated with educators across the state for a virtual event, called SPEAK Hawaiʻi. The purpose of this storytelling event was to support Hawaiʻi’s pre- and in-service educators in developing their professional identity, uplifting their teacher voice, and building a network with Hawaiʻi’s educators.
Organized and cohosted by ITE Associate Professor Stephanie Buelow and Kristi Oda, of the HIDOE Leadership Institute in the Office of Talent Management, the event is the culmination of their collaboration over the course of the Spring 2021 Semester.
“As Kristi and I prepared for Speak Hawaiʻi, I encouraged our teacher candidates to consider sharing their philosophy, stories, or any teacher field experiences at the event,” Buelow said. “We then began to advertise through our networks, which resulted in the selection of one teacher candidate speaker and eight in-service teacher speakers from public and private schools on Maui, Big Island, and Oʻahu.”
There were 45 attendees with approximately half from the COE, including current students, faculty, and alumni. Other attendees included HIDOE State office teachers, the Director of the HI State Teacher of the Year program, K–12 classroom teachers, community college participants, mentor teachers from ITE Elementary partner schools, as well as K–12 administrators.
The event concluded with an interactive session in which each speaker (live and concurrent) hosted a breakout room, and participants moved between rooms for three rounds of discussion.
Buelow stated, “The overwhelming feedback was that this event was so inspirational and a reminder of what matters the most in education – our students. Everyone appreciated and benefitted from the variety and impact of topics, and the one critique was there was not enough time to watch all of the videos!”
Watch the speaker’s videos live on Flipgrid: https://flipgrid.com/5866b73b / Password: SpeakHawaii2021