7th Grade Laie Experience 2022

Jonathan Hermosura
Our 7th graders recently participated in a multi-day overnight field trip that was a cultural study of the migration of Pacific Islanders throughout Polynesia. Students rolled up their sleeves to work in the loʻi at Kualoa Ranch, played a game of ulu maika and used traditional methods of fishing at Polynesian Cultural Center, and experienced the diverse cultures of Polynesia in many other ways throughout the three-day trip!
In 2017, researcher, teacher, and author Dr. Brene Brown delivered an SXSWedu talk to a ballroom of teachers. In her talk, she speaks about schools facilitating something she termed as "Daring Classrooms." Dr. Brown shared that in order for valuable learning and growth to happen, our classrooms need to be spaces where people are willing to be courageous, vulnerable, trusting, and empathetic. At the heart of these "Daring Classrooms," of course, are caring teachers who are committed and willing to model these very values for their own students.

So, even in the midst of skyrocketing COVID-19 cases in January, our 7th-grade teachers remained steadfast in their commitment to being daring. They were focused and continued to carefully plan for their annual Laie field trip in early February.

Though it wasn't easy, they provided a safe learning experience for over 60 students and 15 adults to spend 3 days/2 nights on the north shore of O'ahu. In its fifth year, the 7th grade Laie field trip is meant to extend what they've been learning in the classroom and provide students with real-life experiences about cultural systems and the study of Polynesian migration throughout the Pacific.

The first day was spent at Kualoa Ranch. Students learned about the ranch's inner workings and commitment to sustainable farming, ranching, and aquaculture practices. They also got the chance to play tourist and participate in the Hollywood Movie Site tour. The day ended with the students getting sweaty and muddy by working together in a Hawaiian lo'i. Our guides were so impressed with our group's effort as they were able to clear out an entire patch by themselves.

On Thursday, the students had an impromptu PE lesson in Pickleball in the morning. One of the nation's fastest-growing sports, you can now see Pickleball being played at nearly every park on the island. Afterward, it was on to the Polynesian Cultural Center, where everyone spent the day visiting the different islands and learning about the uniqueness of each culture. The evening culminated with the group attending the Ha: Breath of Life show. A feast for the senses, the show featured dozens of cultural performers that would make Broadway proud.

The final day of the trip allowed students to go back to PCC and complete their assignments as well as participate in retail therapy by shopping at the Hukilau Marketplace. Overall, the trip was a great success and a testament to all the teachers, parents, and students involved who were courageous enough to participate despite the many challenges they faced. Special thanks go out to Mrs. Perreira, Mrs. Vannatta, Ms. Calventas, Nurse Marianne, and the Maryknoll School President's Office, who helped make the trip such a success! 

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1526 Alexander St.
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: 808.952.8400