Literally, great breath

Pukui, Mary Kawena, Hawaiian dictionary : Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian 

s., Aho, patient, and nui, much. Forbearance; long suffering; patience.

Andrews, Hawaiian Dictionary, 1865


During my terrible twos, my mother (Grandma Sadie whom you met through this year’s Silver Linings Day video) said I used to throw myself backwards, slamming my head on the ground. I then flailed my arms, kicked my legs, and screeched a piercing wail. It didn’t matter if we were in public. If I got angry, I’d throw this tantrum. Thank goodness there were no iPhones or social media back then. The only evidence she still possesses is a picture of me lying on the pavement in the middle of the Aiea Shopping Center parking lot. While my mother can laugh about it now, I’m sure at the time she felt stressed and frustrated. People passing by stared, possibly judged, “So shame. Control your kid.”

By the time I was three, I grew out of that phase. I could wait for what seemed like hours. Well before the iPad existed, I read, colored, or played with a Hot Wheel. But more importantly, I learned to better communicate my needs, control my body and regulate my emotions.

Given how extreme my tantrums were, my mom thought I had been replaced by another child. Yet, my “terrible twos” behavior fell just within the average end. Most kids tantrum at this age. However, some children, like my younger sister had very few tantrums (that I didn’t provoke) probably because her language skills were more advanced. She could clearly say and therefore get what she wanted.

Later, as a parent, I appreciated the ahonui, the forbearance my parents showed towards my off-putting, defiant, very public behavior. When my daughter was obstinate, I got furious. I felt as if she was disrespecting me. Yet, her obstinance was similar to my tantrums – part of the average behavior for kids her age. She was developing her language, learning to express her needs, while exploring boundaries. I didn’t realize this until I became an elementary educator and studied early child development. 

Now as an administrator, I see the broad range of average behavior our students exhibit and it requires our team to show ahonui  and ʻoluʻolu. At this age, students rarely tantrum, but they are still developing their language, emotional regulation, and social skills. As such, some students, as an attempt to gain power or control, tease others and exhibit physical aggression. These bullying behaviors are harmful and it’s easy to feel disappointment and anger towards the aggressor. In the past, these behaviors would lead to some sort of physical punishment or suspension. Then when it happened again, we would feel contempt as if the repeated act was aimed at flouting our authority. Yet, in reality it was not about us, the adults. It was about a child with immature language, emotional regulation and social skills still learning how to behave.

Today, we still state that bullying behaviors are not acceptable. However, to address the developing, immature skills, we implement consequences designed to teach empathy and self-control. This includes lessons on relationships, communication, and respectfully standing up for oneself and others. It could also necessitate in-school suspension filled with individual lessons and doing service projects that help those who have been victimized. It will involve meeting with parents so that we can move forward as a team and reinforce respectful behaviors at home and at school – all showing ahonui as the students learn and develop better social and self-regulation skills AND ʻoluʻolu as we provide clear, strong, supportive guidance.


Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch this: Sorry written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Maurie J. Manning. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: With a parent or kupuna find out the word or phrase your ancestors used to say “sorry.” Are there other or deeper meanings to this word or phrase? Share any stories/moʻolelo around this word/phrase.
  • SKILLS: Brainstorm as many synonyms or expressions of apology as you can.
  • INTELLECT: What does the word “restorative” mean? How does it apply to what Jack does towards the end of the story.
  • CRITICALITY: If your friend asked you to do something that can be harmful or disrespectful towards others, what can you say? Role play different examples.
  • JOY: Think of someone you’d like to say sorry to and create a beautifully decorated apology card that shows how sorry your are.

Parents/Kupuna: Here’s a great follow-up read to this book.


October is National Bullying Prevention Month and in accordance, we have several initiatives planned. 

  • Thanks in part to our KES Wellness Committee, Mental Health America of Hawaiʻi will provide an interactive training for our 5th and 6th graders on Becoming a Defender. Students will learn about what is bullying, how to prevent it, and how to positively talk about dealing with difficult emotions.
  • This Wednesday we will participate in Unity Day, a day calling for inclusive, nurturing learning environment for all. To show our collective support; that we are united in speaking and acting with aloha – especially akahai, we will give all students orange, Unity Day bracelets on Wednesday morning. As we hand them out, we will remind students about what the bracelet represents and in wearing it, they are making a promise to themselves and our community to be kinder, more respectful, more civil.
  • Each week for the remainder of the month, I will share a read alouds that has an anti-bullying message associated with the Aloha focus.

Please join us in promoting the Unity Day promise at home. Encourage your children to  be kinder, be more respectful, and act more civilly towards others.


During the break, I spent some time with Miki Tomita and Hye Jung Kim, our friends from Education Incubator. They are working with the entire Castle-Kahuku Complex Area to incorporate more Aloha in our schools. One of the videos they shared during their presentation, was of our mentor, Uncle Pono explaining the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha. If you want to learn about what exactly Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets, revealed to him about Aloha, I highly recommend watching this video.



We are continuing to Wear Pink for Maui on Wednesdays and invite all to continue joining us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 

DAILY VIRTUAL PIKO – please join us

The Daily Piko helps us become centered and ready to learn. It helps us get on the same page, hearing one message of focus for the day and the week. If you are able, we begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesday when we conduct the piko in-person.



Wed, Oct 18, 2023, 4:30 PMWellness Committee Meeting 
Join by Zoom
Oct 23 – Nov 3, 2023Parent-Teacher Conferences
early release 12:45 PM daily
Oct 25, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Wed, Nov 1, 2023Complex PC Day – No Students
Nov 6 – 9, 2023WASC Accreditation Full Visit
Wed, Nov 8, 2023, 4:30 PMWellness Committee Meeting 
Join by Zoom
Wed, Nov 29, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Wed, Dec 13, 2023, 4:30 PMWellness Committee Meeting 
Join by Zoom
Wed, Dec 20, 2023Winter Classroom Paina
end school at 2:05 PM (switch with 12/21)
Thur, Dec 21, 2023Winter Songfest
end school at 1:15 PM (switch with 12/20)
End of Quarter 2
Dec 22, 2023 – Jan 5, 2024Winter Break Intersession – no school
Wed, Dec 27, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Mon, Jan 8, 2024Waiver Day #3 – No Students

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