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Some of the funniest memes I’ve seen on social media lately are those regarding parents being at home with their keiki while they continue the school year through distance learning. I have always known I could never do the job of a kumu and now I join so many others who have a new admiration and respect for the kumu in our lives.

Quite honestly, I have never been much help with my high school freshman’s assignments even “pre-pandemic.  My enhanced appreciation for the teachers in my life is multiplied for those kumu who are parents themselves, doing double duty from the home office. As our haumana are adapting, so are the kumu.

They have had to adjust, acquire new skills and face many challenges and expectations themselves.

Coach AlaMahalo to the countless educators I have as friends and family who influence and encourageme and my children. It can’t be easy to do your job with the added responsibilities of teaching online, tending to your own family situations, and defending your value to the nay-sayers.

Mahalo to my hiapo’s professor, whosuddenly  compelled to learn and use unfamiliar technology, had the humility to seek help.

Mahalo to my son’s coaches and kumu who conduct daily calls and texts to see if my son is keeping up with college courses and to offer help that extends beyond the schoolwork.

Mahalo to my high school freshman’s kumu for the daily check-ins, emails, updates and endless outreach to support my daughter and ensure she and her classmates finish their last quarter strong.

Doc HamiltonLastly, mahalo to my own "Lunch & Learn" kumu who offers us the opportunity to, via video-conference, learn ōlelo Hawai‘i and to honor beliefs and practices around our Hawaiian culture and health.

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week. Join me in honoring (or appreciating) our teachers, kumu, coaches and mentors past and present.They sacrifice, shape lives, sow  seeds of success, and they do it with aloha in action and word. Mahalo nui.

~ Tam-e Fa'agau     

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