Celeste Endo is Computer Science Lead Learner and an HSTE Board Member in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is a @tinkthinktank coach, leads the way with CODE dance parties and Cosplay was the 2020 Kaimuki McKinley Roosevelt Complex Area Teacher of the Year and is a 2022 Hawaii KidsCAN Legislative Champion. Celeste shared “whenever we get over the rainbow creative in our work and play, we encourage our learners to do the same.”
Every interaction, every moment, and every step we take is an opportunity to be better than we were before. These are chances to improve ourselves and become the people we wish to become. As time ticks away, what if we don’t think of it as a fleeting moment? What if we think of each moment as another opportunity to better ourselves from the version before? We have so much to learn, grow, and share with each person we are lucky to cross paths with. We can truly learn from everyone.
Born and raised in Honolulu Hawaii, I had an amazingly supportive family. I was lucky to be born into a loving family of educators who did everything they could to nurture and help me grow. The school was a stark contrast to my home. I remember being pulled out of the homeroom with two other children every day to what I thought was a Special Ed class. It was so embarrassing for me and every time a little bit of my soul shrank. Years later, in my 40’s I spoke to my mom about that Special Ed class. She told me that it wasn’t Special Ed, it was a Reading class, like English Learner classes of today… but I had no excuse not to know English. I came from a family of English-speaking educators! Haha, I can laugh about it now, but it sure hurt back then.
Let’s not erase or throw away the tough times. They are an embedded part of us and help us appreciate the good. Life challenges make us more empathetic to the people we get to teach. Let’s try to be more understanding when learners don’t quite get it… yet, and try to find new ways to spark deeper learning.
I graduated from the University of Hawai‘i with a Bachelor’s Elementary Ed in 1996 and a Master’s Educational Technology in 2000. I’m currently a Computer Science Teacher for Preschool-5th grade at Queen Ka‘ahumanu Elementary, where I have found a home away from home, an ‘ohana. I love my school, admin, teachers, and growing lead learners! I drew this picture and wrote this chant that students lead us in, to start our Computer Science classes.
Why did you become a teacher?
My grandpa once told me, “Celeste, I think you will be a good teacher.” He was a history teacher, who became a counselor, who became an adult school principal, so his words meant a lot. Yet, I was extremely shy and didn’t have much confidence… Until one day my life crossed paths with Miss Esther Goto, my 6th-grade teacher who borrowed heavy film cameras with huge reels to make a class movie starring each student! For over a decade, I have been trying to rekindle Miss Goto’s magic with the afterschool ChainjMakers video club that grew into the Tink Think Tank Tech Team (T5), where students get to explore their passions via technology.
What are you passionate about teaching?
Recently, inspiring code.org Hawaii workshops, helped me weave meaningful experiences into Preschool through 5th-grade Computer Science (CS) curriculum. With exuberant motions and cheer, students learn unplugged CS algorithms to solve classroom-sized mazes and proudly make their very own code dance parties! Knowing the potential of CS to give Keiki a rainbow of opportunities, I wrote & performed testimony to teach legislators about the importance of CS in Hawaii schools.
Who have you learned from?
When I told my mom that I wanted to be a teacher, she told me, “DO NOT become a teacher. “ She loved me too much and as a veteran teacher spanning 3 decades, she innately knew the challenges that teachers face every day. Yet, when I became a teacher, my mom jumped into turbo teacher mode! She wholeheartedly supported me by bringing my dad along to colorfully set up my very 1st classroom. It is my love for teachers, like my mom, that helps me define my WHY every day. Since then, I’ve been lucky to have many marigold mentors.
I will forever be grateful to learn alongside my Personal Learning ‘Ohana that includes the Recruitment and Retention Support Center, Team HSTE, 808educate, GrowWithUs808, Rethinking Learning, Crazy PLN, (not just a) Green Screen Summit, and the wonder-filled learners at my school, Queen Kaahumanu Elementary! Our learning ‘ohana has lifted me through my darkest days & gifted me a path of better ways. Fully supporting over-the-rainbow antics from a cast of characters like Unity Day Kindness Peacemaker, CS Chainman, Michi Simmons, & Tutu Tinkerella!
Who can we learn from?
We Learn From Everyone– Sung to the tune of “Come My House” by Linda Dela Cruz
(Play ukulele chords F & C7)
You come our house. We learn from everyone,
That’s the learner’s style,
You come our house. We learn from everyone,
That’s the learner’s style!
I have the wonderful opportunity to co-present with Franklin Burns at the upcoming Schools of the Future. On October 21, 2022, we will be presenting Get Up & Learn! Perspectives from Diverse Teachers on How We Can Use Motions to Activate Learning. Here’s a little peek:
At a W-RITE 808 workshop dreamt up by Kristi Oda and held a week ago, Kristen Brummel mentioned her vision of developing the voices of beginning teachers as leaders too. That got me thinking about how every learner has a voice and we can empower them. I’m wholeheartedly learning so much from the littlest Preschoolers at my school!
Celeste’s Contact info
Twitter handle: @celyendo
Find Celeste on Twitter: @celyendo
Computer Science Reflections #CSceleste
Hope you enjoyed the conversation with Celeste Endo on Barbara’s virtual porch! Please share with your friends.
Make sure you check out more of the Rethinking Learning podcasts and each post that the guests created. Click the logo below or go to https://barbarabray.net/podcasts/
For more information about Barbara’s book, Define Your WHY, go to this page or click on the image of the book for resources, questions, and links.