A Dedicated Teacher Embracing Messiness, Kindness and Creativity

Malia-Oshiro-imageWho are you, sister? Tell us a little about yourself. I’m a high school English teacher in Kent, WA. I’m creating my own “introvert’s paradise” (yes, I sang that just like Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise…) and I cherish the peace and quiet of living in my own paradise.

Let’s do a quick-answer speed round answers. Ready, set, go!

Morning drink? When I first wake up, I have to have water…My friends and family tease me for constantly hydrating. After my water, coffee is an absolute must!
Indulgence? Kit-Kat’s! I had a friend in high school who told me that no matter what happens in life and no matter who breaks your heart, a Kit-Kat will always make things better. I’m a firm believer in the power of chocolate.
Lusting after? The items on my ever-growing bucket list! Up first: learn how to play the ukulele…And maybe get some voice lessons so I sound less like a cat in heat.
Spirit animal? A toddler-aged panda. Clumsy, well-intentioned, curious but cautious.
Head space? I need to get back on track! I’ve been beating myself up over some recent life changes instead of embracing myself for who I am.
Heart space? I am not alone. I am loved. I am imperfect but I am trying.
Bloom of choice? Sunflowers and hot pink Gerber daisies.
Turn-on? Humor, kindness, compassion, authenticity.
Go-to gemstone? On a teacher’s salary?! Ha. I do love my birthstone (peridot). Fun fact: When I got my ears pierced in the 2nd grade, my mom convinced me there was a law that said all 7-year-olds getting their ears pierced had to pick their birthstone instead of the butterflies or lady bugs that were offered for older girls. Looking back, I laugh but I appreciate her influence on my style!
Celebrity icon? J.K. Rowling, Chrissy Teigen (girl is FUNNY!), and Lisa Ling
Favorite compliment? “Your classroom is the only place where I feel at home, where I can be myself.”

What does practicing joy mean to you? Embracing the flaws and messiness of the everyday. Loving myself regardless of what others may say/do to hurt me or advance themselves. Finding pleasure in the small things and appreciating the pain of rejection because it builds character and hope.

Biggest life lessons you’ve learned lately? “I am many things. Stupid is not one of them.” –Olivia Pope

What’s your definition of success? Finding joy along the way. Success isn’t always a destination, sometimes it’s the lessons and people you meet along the way.

Name 3 things from your Life List that light you up?

Ukulele music

Training for a Disney half-marathon

Indoor rock climbing

What do you do when life gets messy? It depends on the context of the situation but it usually goes something like this: cry, cuddle in bed with my favorite soft blankies, talk it out with my tribe, pray, watch Scandal, eat chocolate, try something new to make myself proud.


3 songs, 3 books, 3 Instagram accounts


“Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake
“Confident” by Demi Lovato
“Me Too” by Meghan Trainor


The Bible
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Teach Like A PIRATE by Dave Burgess


Hope King from the Ron Clark Academy (@elementaryshenanigans)
Brene Brown (@brenebrown)
Jen Jones (@hellojenjones)

What do you love about yourself? I am resilient yet gentle. I am loving and kind yet sassy and strong.

How are you going to change the world? Through the work in my classroom, I will change the world by inspiring kids to not let society tell them who to be. They learn the importance of kindness and creativity, not the pressure of being a test score. It isn’t always perfect but I will be damned if a kid walks out of my classroom and they don’t feel the love!


Word of the Year? Rise

Book that made a difference? To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Currently obsessed? SCANDAL!

Can’t live without? My morning devotional with the First Five app, lots and lots of water in my sparkly pink Starbucks tumbler, COFFEE & chocolate, and popcorn dipped in pickle juice (it’s a thing, I promise).

Find Malia playing online on her Instagram or Facebook page!



Real Talk
In real time

Inner truth + outer alignment = unapologetic joy

Get my weekly-ish love notes to help you reclaim an intimate, honest + joyful relationship with yourself, for the good of all.

Real Talk
In real time

Inner truth + outer alignment = unapologetic joy

Get my weekly-ish love notes to help you reclaim an intimate, honest + joyful relationship with yourself, for the good of all.