Educators Night, hosted by the Teacher Education Department (TED) at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC), has become an anticipated bi-annual event among local teachers from all levels of the Territory’s public and private schools. “We hope teachers enjoy an evening of support shared with their peers and come away with the motivation to stay positive about their profession,” explained TED Recruiter Fa’aletaua Saili. For the fifth Educators Night, which took place at the beginning of this month, more than 100 teachers enjoyed various presentations centered on the evening’s theme of Educational Technology. “We hoped to assist our local teachers to meet the global demands of the 21st century,” continued Saili. “The evening’s workshops and presentations focused on sharing teaching strategies, ideas, educational learning apps, and websites to support instruction in the classroom.”
With a large audience to accommodate, the TED organized three presentation sites in the ASCC Multi-Purpose Center’s Auditorium and adjacent classrooms. In the main auditorium, special guests from the Department of Education Technology Integration Office, led by Program Director Dr. Solomona Tuisamatatele, gave an overview of their online resources. Joining Dr. Tuisamatele in the presentation were DOE Technology Integration Specialists Mr. Tony Leatualevao, Mrs. Jade Shimasaki Vaofanua, Ms. Agnes Antonio Tipi, Mr. Bryon Saifoloi, Ms. Judy Rae Tuna, , and Mrs. Usuia Finau-Lealaimatafao. For the first part of the evening, the audience divided into groups and alternated between the DOE presentation and two lectures in nearby classrooms by TED faculty Mr. Lance Glodowski and Ms. Brandy Shimasaki-Barber.
When all three audience groups had attended each of the first round of presentations, the audience came together again in the auditorium for the evening’s main talk by Ms. Tafaimamao Tupuola, State Director of the University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities. Ms. Tupuola focused on Assistive Technology, sharing her insights from many years of serving students with special needs. Following Ms. Tupuola’s presentation, the evening culminated with the awarding of the Educators Night grand raffle prize. Throughout the evening, raffles for prizes had helped keep the mood upbeat, thanks to sponsors Good in American Samoa (GIAS), Blue Sky Communications, the American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA), Turtle & Shark South Seas Enterprises, Neil’s ACE Home Center, McDonald's and Island Business Center.
In the days following this year’s Educators Night, TED received positive feedback from some of the participants. “I appreciated being exposed to the different implementation of integrated technology,” wrote one local teacher. I am amazed at how technology has evolved and how significant it is in enhancing education today.” Another wrote, “I enjoyed the free apps and websites. I can implement these in my classroom. The resources that support teachers give us choices for making student collaboration more enjoyable.”
For some local teachers, for whom Educational Technology represents a new challenge, the recent Educators Night served to indicate different ways they can learn more from others and on their own. “The TED has a commitment to assist teachers in any way possible, and to give them a great sense of being appreciated,” reflected Recruiter Saili, one of the main organizers of the event, along with TED Program Director Ms. Shirley De La Rosa and colleagues Dr. Felei Petele-Alainu’uese, Ms. Moresea Langkilde, Mrs. Christine Fuimaono, Dr. Larry Purcell and Mrs. Tasia Talamoni. Saili also credited TED Lumana’i Educators Association student club volunteers Blessing Fa’alata, Faith Loia, Finisi Roe and Denise Tui for organizational assistance.
For more information on the ASCC Teacher Education Department, visit the College’s website at: www.amsamoa.edu.