Jan Iwase

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Playing with Math

I was pretty good in math when I was in school. I was able to answer the problems correctly and my SAT score for math was considerably higher than my verbal score. That was many, many years ago, and unfortunately, I don’t recall much about the math I took back then. When I became a…

Falling Behind . . .

I’ve learned a lot since I retired as a school principal. I wrote a book, created a website, and was slowly gaining more confidence as a speaker. (This continues to be a real challenge for me.)  This COVID-19 lockdown has been quite an experience for educators. I follow teachers on social media here in Hawaii…

Rays of Light During this Lockdown

We are all feeling it. Our lives have changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is our new normal, and thus far, most of us are complying with social distancing, washing our hands more often, and staying on lockdown until further notice, going out only when necessary. Social media has given me hope that people have…

A New Way of Teaching and Learning

The coronavirus pandemic is changing teaching and learning for schools across the country. Tomorrow, Hawaii public school teachers will be back at work to plan instruction for their students. They’ll be working remotely from home and meeting virtually with administrators and their colleagues. A few years ago, our school received a grant to pilot blended…

Educating Kids in this COVID-19 Era

“When things are in turmoil, lead from the front.  When things are going well, lead from the back.” Our world is in turmoil right now. This COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our lives in ways we would not have expected. This is a time when our leaders need to step up and lead from the front.…

Uncertain Times

Well, the coronavirus has certainly had an impact on my husband and me. We cancelled our trip in April to see our son and grandsons; we specifically planned this trip for their Spring Break because we don’t get to see our grandsons much if we travel when they’re in school. I was in ‘mourning’ as…

Reading for Pleasure

When I was working, I primarily read professional articles, blogs, magazines, or books related to my profession as an educator. This is why I looked forward to the breaks when I’d binge-read books for pleasure. There’s nothing quite like being completely immersed in a good book! Since my retirement, I’ve found distinct pleasure in reading…

“Mirrors and Windows”

Recently, I read an article that Ezra Jack Keats’ book, The Snowy Day, is the book that has been checked out more times – 485, 583 – than any other book in the New York Public Library system. I can understand why this book is so popular. I remember reading this book with my preschoolers every year.…

Learning from Failure

Today, I was a recalling an incident that happened many years ago when our son was taking karate. He had been taking lessons for a couple of years and had made good progress. It was the day when all the students would take their test to be promoted to the next color belt. Justin was…

They Touched My Heart with Their Stories

My heart is full; my cup is filled. This has been an uplifting week for me. I’ve been sharing about my book, Leading with Aloha: From the Pineapple Fields to the Principal’s Office, and one of my goals when I speak with educators is to encourage them to tell their mo`olelo, their unique stories. I…