51. She Lives On The Edge Of Her Seat: Ululani Shiraishi

I have learned, as a podcast host, that some episode interviews are question and response, and some conversations are more…intimate. My episode here with Ululani Shiraishi is decidedly the latter. Ululani gave me a gift during this interview, a phrase I will use in my life going forward: Working at the edge of your seat. She comes from a place of part frenzy crazy, and part deliberate intentional. And she is always, always working at the edge of her seat. This conversation touched on what it means to be 100% wife, 100% mother, 100% teacher all at the same time; the purpose of getting a graduate degree; the energy generated when one is forced to “pivot” (to use an overused Covid-19 term); the current revolution in education and the crazy cool things going on at Kamehameha Schools, Maui Campus; the special things that happen when we leave just a little room for margins in our lives, and much more. This will easily go down as one of my favorite interviews in either the 1st or 2nd season of this podcast series. There were times when I forgot I was recording the thing. Ululani is a treasure, a luminous and effervescent being on an epic personal and professional journey. More on Ululani Shiraishi: she is a Kamehameha Schools Maui, middle school language arts teacher who is deep into SEL, Hawaiian culture and trans-disciplinary teaching and learning. She is on the KSBE Maui Middle School Leadership Team and is a close partner with Kui Gapero, one of my early guests on this podcast in Season One. Ululani is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools’ Keala‘ula Innovations Institute, which is a creative learning program where Kamehameha Schools teachers focus on professional development. The program spotlights learning in terms of creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking, skills that are essential for students to succeed today and tomorrow. Ululani also taught in Hawaii’s public schools as a National Board Certified Teacher. At Kamehameha Schools Maui, she is an ardent believer in simultaneously teaching the heart and intellect of kids through engaging inquiry-based learning experiences. She is currently working on a graduate degree in student learning and well-being. Hope, self-efficacy, curiosity, and good old fashioned hard work drive her teaching and life. My huge thanks to Evan Reppun Beachy, who directs the Kealaʻula Institute for recommending Ululani. As always, our theme music and post-production editing is provided by Daniel Gilad at DG Sound Creations. To learn more about Daniel check out his Facebook page. If you love this episode please give us a rating and review in your favorite podcast store. Take care, be safe and bring kindness and compassion into the world.  

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