Tīhei mauri ora!
Nau mai haere mai ki taku rangitaki. Ko ēnei aku whakaaro e pā ana ki tōku haerenga i tēnei tau. E toru o ngā pātai matua hei tohu mō āku whakaaro. Ko tōku tino tumanako i tēnei tau, ki te whakapakari te wairua me te hinengaro a mātou tamariki Māori kei roto i tōku kura tuatahi. Ahakoa he huarahi roa, ngā piki me ngā heke... ehara ngā tamariki te wero - te maunga...ko te pūnaha kura te maunga! Engari, ka piki tonu au ki tēnei maunga.
Mēna, he whākaaro tāu, he pātai rānei, nau mai āu whakaaro kei te pouaka kōrero kei raro. Ngā mihi!
What happened for the learners?
- The learnt some basic Te Reo Māori including karakia, pūrākau, significant signs and symbols and some basic sentence structures.
- Whakaaro Māori was integrated across the curriculum.
- Whakaaro Māori was talked about and discussed across the curriculum including history, policies, whakataukī, links to the natural world, Matariki, whānau, mauri and mana.
- 'Ako' was practiced through mixed ability grouping and tuakana/teina and across classes.
- Could clearly identify the 'whys' behind some of our most at risk students as they were all in one space - previously falling between cracks.
- Learners learnt more about themselves and their cultures and perspectives of the past - they explored why things may have come to be nowadays and learnt that 'What is Māori' is different for all Māori.
- A strategic plan for all Māori in our school was put into place through my participation with the Change Team.
- I was able to contribute to planning templates which now clearly include a place for Māori perspectives.
- Students using Te Reo without teacher prompting in class.
- Students using Te Reo in blog posts without teacher prompting.
- Students volunteering to teach other students across school levels, Te Reo and Māori games.
- Students leading assemblies in Te Reo.
- Increased reading ages, in particular, in evaluative questioning - or the 'going beyond' questions.
- Ideas improved in writing - extending ideas to make connections with audience and wider world.
- Behaviourally - at risk students from previous year were now leaders and successful contributors in the school community - 3 of these key students winning scholarships to Wesley College in 2018.
- Year 8 students discussing study options for Year 9 including a pathway to Te Reo Māori classes in which they feel they will achieve success. NB: Building a positive sense of future self.
- Concentrated on Te Whare Tapa Whā - holistic well being.
- Started with 'Who am I?' and kept this question the focus throughout the year.
- Empowered students through the knowledge of who they are and why being Māori is awesome.
- Encouraged critical thinking about the Māori world view.
- Integrated a Māori context for learning in all learning areas.
- Promoted Te Reo Māori as a gift that was special for the students.
- Shared Whakataukī weekly so students could gain a sense of understanding of beliefs from the past (hard working people are awesome, lazy people aren't), as well as develop metaphorical thinking (Māori spoke in mataphors!).
- Made the mana and wairua of the students the main focus of my teaching time.
Wonderings about what next?
- How can I strengthen this programme even more?
- How can I now consolidate what I found worked well this year, with best practice from previous years that may have lost my focus? E.g. visible learning.
- How can I refine what I did this year in relation to assessment and National Standards?
- What are other teachers doing around Aotearoa that is similar? What challenges are they facing and how can we connect to learn, create and share together?
If you have been following this journey this year, thank you for your time and I hope there was something useful that came out of this for you to use in your classroom.