Cross-posted from my FB page 20 October 2015:
Morena koutou. Three things that I am grateful for inaianei. Te mea tuatahi: Kapa whakangahau o Te Pahipoto. Te mea tuarua: Acceptance onto the Postgrad Cert in Applied Practice Programme with Unitec/Mindlab alongside my buddies Ma & Lesa Lafaelle. Te mea tuatoru: Recognition as an NZ ACET kaiako. Ki taku whānau mo to awhinatia me ngā aroha ki ahau, ngā mihi nunui kia koutou katoa. Kia pai tō rā.
If I think reflectively about my VPLD learning journey thus far, I do believe it has taken the shape of a steep bell curve and over time 'the goal posts' have moved. A number of external factors have certainly contributed to this change as I will soon explain.
The year 2015 started off 'as every year does at school' with lots of excitement and sheer determination to get back into the classroom. I was accepted on the VPLD programme, thanks also to the support of my boss and life was good. With Mr B, the longest standing Principal of New Zealand at our helm, the E.P.S whanau were destined yet again for a great first term. That we thoroughly did enjoy. Then Mr B retired and with that announcement came a change of Principal and over a term a change too, in our school leadership structure.
The goals that I set earlier this year alongside my mentor Rick, have also taken a turn, moreso for the better. My first intention was practice based. Although I had planned to have my twenty three Y5-Y6 students blog with another local class, we have instead entered with them into class Twitter and joined both KidsconnectBOP and KidsedchatNZ. Although it would be nice for my students to run their own twitter sessions 'it's early days', the challenge of typing just 140 characters with punctuation and spelling accuracy remains and scaffolding is still needed at this time.
The recent changes to our class infrastructure now mean we have 10 mini iPads, 15 chrome books and fiber up and running effectively in our two-classroom block. I am introducing Google docs with ease, students are loving the connectivity and engagement and in Term 4 we begin quadblogging and mystery Skype.
We also have two big screens and an Apple TV. Storage, management and planned workflow of devices is currently 'systems in progress'. I'm thinking seriously of moving out a lot of the traditional desks we have as students are finding their own workspaces on the floor, in alcoves, at benches, or basically anywhere they feel comfortable learning with the devices.
I have a sound pedagogical base and I want students to understand the eLPF or e-Learning Planning Framework and the SAMR model. I am also in awe of the growth mindset that comes with the effective integration of technology and my students are thriving immensely on this kind of thinking and learning. In retrospect, I would ideally love to work collaboratively in a 1:1 Y5-Y6 class next year and so I have subtly voiced this request.
My second goal was based on building the EBOP Connected Teachers group as a community of practice. A Facebook page has since been set up and shared with this roopu. We held one hui at REAP in Term 2 and we decided that the Term 3 meeting would be replaced with the launch of Educamp Whakatane in September. This was planned extensively and very well received. It is now my intention (along with a core group of e-learning leaders) to organise an EBOP Connected ICT thinking and learning mini conference for local teachers just before the school year begins in 2016.
The VPLD programme has certainly kept me on my toes throughout this time. Rick and I have remained in constant contact via FaceTime, phone conversations and also kanohi ki kanohi at the Educamp Whakatane hui. It has been an honour to have him follow my journey, provide feedback and feed forward and suggest ideas as and when required. I must apologise however for my lack of 'posting presence' within the VPLD site. This is now back on my 'to do' list.
My learning journey so continues. In July with the support of Mr B, I completed an ACET or Advanced Classroom Expertise Teacher portfolio and managed/facilitated a national Facebook page alongside other like-minded ACET educators. I will hear if my portfolio has been accepted early in October. I did think too at one stage of submitting an e-Fellowship proposal but will now consider that initiative for next year. The 'Teacher-Led Innovation Fund' also inspires me.
In my spare time I manage/faciltate a Facebook EBOP educators group called PL Geeks Unite, join in on educational twitter sessions and I post regularly to our EPS staff VLN FB page. I intend participating too in CENZ15 or Connected Educator Month. I have personally paid to attend ULearn this year (along with another colleague/friend) and we are at present enrolling in the Postgrad Certificate in Applied Practice being offered by Unitec in Rotorua. It is also my desire to continue as a mentoree or hopefully become a mentor, for the 2016 VPLD programme. One can only wish.
Amidst the changes and challenges that have presented themselves this year I am happy with who I am and what I do. My personal tagline #angelwita2tude suggests this. I am also grateful for the ongoing support I continue to receive. This is indeed a precious taonga gifted to me unconditionally by my students, fellow school and VPLD colleagues, friends and whanau. Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi. He toa takitini toku toa. Alas, my strength and the adventurous journey I lead, is not due to me alone, but due to the strength of many.
Toku maunga - Ko Putauaki
Toku awa - Ko Rangitaiki
Toku marae - Ko Kokohinau
Toku hapu - Ko Pahipoto
It has been said that indigenous people like myself will bring prior knowledge to the fore and always relate back to what is known through whānaungatanga, whakapapa or genealogy. The four lines mentioned above as my pepeha share that I am strongly connected not only to Pahipoto a sub-tribe of the Ngatiawa people who reside in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, but also to significant places like Putauaki the mountain and Rangitaiki our local river.
Keeping it very simple, whānaungatanga for me is a sense of unity and togetherness amongst people.
The Professional Teaching Criteria associated with Whānaungatanga
PTC1 is about ethical, respectful, positive, and collaborative professional relationships.
Fully registered teachers establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of all ākonga. Key indicators:
o Engage in ethical, respectful, positive, and collaborative professional relationships with:
- teaching colleagues, support staff, and other professionals
- whānau, extended whānaunga and other carers of ākonga/learners
- agencies, groups, and individuals in the community.
How could I tell someone about Whānaungatanga?
Whānaungatanga is based on human relationships. From a maori perspective the term has a number of meanings and encompasses important values like manaakitanga, wairuatanga etc.
What is my alternative explanation of Whānaungatanga?
What I am, think, feel and do evolves around the relationships I have with people and so I believe that whānaungatanga is my purpose in life and primary reason for my being. Developing an awareness of whānaungatanga starts with me as ‘ko au’ - the centre of my universe. This is the place where I am concerned with my own wellbeing and successes in life.
As I move in and out of this personal space to include interactions and relationships with my whānau, whānaunga and extended others, I see things from a less self-centred approach. Everything changes.
It does not matter what specific actions I take or the skills that I learn on this journey. What matters is whānaungatanga – I am ‘bigger than just myself’ and that I am purposefully making a difference in the lives of others.
What impact might Whānaungatanga have on my practice?
As I understand whānaungatanga is about:
• Creating educationally powerful connections with family, whānau and communities
• Kotahitanga as whānau bonding and developing approaches that are responsive to family requests and needs
• Building effective relationships and encouraging whānau engagement
• Reciprocal ako as tri-communication between teachers, students and whānau that promotes share ownership of and responsibility for learning with well-known benefits in engagement and achievement
• Sustaining conditions of relational trust
What are the positives of Whānaungatanga?
I like that whānaungatanga ensures that my culturally responsive classroom is:
• an orderly, safe and supportive environment where students of whom I am most fortunate to learn alongside, work best
• a proactive learning environment where students are encouraged to foster growth mind sets and learning how and why the brain that does the work does the learning
• a whānau-centred thinking environment where relationships are crucial, knowledge is shared and learning connections are made.
What are the challenges of Whānaungatanga?
Whānaungatanga and building effective relationships for me can often mean:
• demonstrating manaakitanga as pastoral care when meeting families for the first time
• supporting or directing families to external agencies should they request assistance
• providing a general awareness of te reo me ona tikanga o Ngati Awa as the language, values and culture of our area to families who are new or unfamiliar with the concepts
• empowering whānau to organise and lead school events
• valuing the powerful connections with students and their whānau as they continue on from my classroom
What am I wondering about Whānaungatanga?
• If my understanding of whānaungatanga as a Maori is the same as that of my tauiwi colleagues, friends and whānau?
• If the concept of whānaungatanga will evolve or change significantly over time?
"My husband Thomas is European and we have been married approximately 20 years. I asked him whether his understanding of whānaungatanga has evolved over time because he married me, into my family and iwi. He replied yes and that the exposure has also had a positive ripple effect on his Mum and Dad and siblings".
Whose Voice is not being heard?
As my koroua or grandfather was the Paramount Chief of Ngati Awa, I often think what his understanding of whānaungatanga and also that of my Nanny Pareake, may have been.
"We moved to Te Teko when I was five years old and stayed with them for a short time. I learnt about the importance of growing kumara and riwai as a whanau and gathering kai from the land. I watched my Nan make whariki or mats and my Koro feed the chooks then plant flax. They hardly ever spoke, I learnt a lot about whanau values in that silence. It was I guess 'a form of respect' and when they did talk to us it was in Maori so I was forced to understand the language. That I certainly did not mind".
What a magnificent two days with so many wonderful like-minded people. We walked and talked on common ground and the conversations were so very rich, real and relevant.
The morning flight from Whakatane to Tamaki Makaurau was delightful. How lucky we in the EBOP or Eastern Bay of Plenty are to have and live on such beautiful whenua that Putauaki, our wondrous maunga tapu stands over. It is truly amazing to witness at 7.10am and a fantastic start towards 48 hours of inspiration. I’ve met up with Rosey Kara. At Auckland airport we introduce ourselves to Paul Sadler from Gisborne and board the YELLOW bus.
The conference venue being the Airport Holiday Inn is very nice. We are welcomed and take our seats around six very large tables. A number of lei on the tables fittingly signify Samoan Language Week. The Toi Tupu team begin our day’s proceedings…
Morning tea and lunch are yummy and my room is just as nice. I’m quite glad to ‘room alone’ as I am mauiui and have an irritating dry cough that will no doubt keep me up during the night.
Dinner was just devine. I enjoyed the company of TH and Kara amongst others. Tonight I'll be in bed early as this mare is tiring me. I also want time to go over the notes for my purakau and make just a few slight adjustments.
After hearing from a number of presenters already I am wondering whether my story will be inspirational or even good enough. It’s nothing new, just a reminder I guess of the need to take great care of ourselves no matter what pathway we should proceed down.
I did not sleep well and know this will have an effect on me much later in the day. All I can do is hope the antibiotics will kick in, drink lots of water and keep physically occupied.
I present after morning tea using Catriona's laptop as there is not lightning to HMDI cord for my chromebook. I also include a bit of zumba dancing.
Conference Notes: http://bit.ly/1cpaDGz
Story - Toku Haerenga - http://bit.ly/1cmgAnB
Story - Slide Notes - http://bit.ly/1HCWOgv
My FIVE takeaways:
1. QR Coding - link to videos as evidential data
2. Visual Mihi by whanau for whanau
3. World Cafe
4. Student/Learner Agency - document what we do
5. Story Hui.
May 27 at 7:14pm · Edited
Last one for the week and it's two-fold... What are your strengths? Which are you most grateful for?
May 27 at 7:12pm · Edited
Coming in with another patai... What was the nicest gift that you have received from a student, parent, whanau or fellow colleague?
May 26 at 6:47pm
Pre-wire time... What are you most proud of to date, in your teaching career?
FY Lesa...and those who might want a little more 'think time'...What is one small delight in the day that you will always look forward to?
May 25 EPS VLN Posting:
What are the best aspects of being a teacher?
May 19 at 8:04pm
Catering for differentiated learning...
A gentle reminder as report time draws near...
If you missed the twitter chat...
May 22 at 6:51am
Mōrena koutou katoa. Just a reminder that staff iPads have no restrictions and are not intended for student use. Should a password be required enter Edgecumbe and the number your iPad has been assigned. Collaborate too in teams to share your iPad learning journey
May 22 at 6:58am
Begin with the end in mind...
May 23 at 8:00am · Edited
Are you keen to join our EPS teacher 'attitude with gratitude month' challenge? One prompt per day will be posted here starting Monday
May 25 at 6:58pm
The ripple effect...