Jan Iwase

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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…

Needing Positive Vibes

I’m a pretty positive person. I believe that things have a way of working out, that we can find common ground even if we disagree. That is probably the reason why I loved being an educator for 45 years. We know that what we do or say to students today and how we make them…

Ed Tech Challenges

I saw this article on LinkedIn, “The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade,”  and as I looked at the title, I thought that no way was I going to go through that whole list. Surprise! I did. It took a bit longer to read, but I found myself reflecting on my experience as a…

Rays of Hope in these Divisive Times

I am missing my son and my grandsons who have left our islands to return to their home on the mainland. They were here for two wonderful weeks. Their time with us was a welcome diversion from the recent events in our country and the world.  As I read the news as well as comments…

The Public-Private School Divide

It’s been a couple of weeks since the publication of the Civil Beat editorial, “The High Cost of Inequality Between Hawaii’s Public and Private Schools.” After reading the editorial and the large volume of comments, I’ve been thinking about what schools might do to bridge the divide between the haves and the have-nots because there…