I had a discussion with my colleague, Christine Emery, about the use of Te Reo and tikanga in teaching and learning last year. Christine commented, and I agreed, that we could do more at Whangaparaoa College. The last ERO report supported this observation.
Teachers would benefit from more closely aligning their professional inquiry to the requirements of the new Education Council. In particular the requirements related to Tātaiako: culturally responsive teacher practices.
I commented that, as a Pakeha, I would like to do more but was afraid of not doing it well or offending Maori by doing it wrong. However, I don’t want this to be a cop out and have had a closer look at Tataiako and how it can be incorporated effectively in our pedagogy.
Christine and I came up with a solution for our department which was to introduce Maori terms and phrases at each curriculum meeting. This is one way that we could, “Demonstrate(s) integrity, sincerity and respect towards Māori beliefs, language and culture.” (Tataiako pg. 8) Everyone would have a turn at doing this.
We have started this initiative and it has helped to give us ways of demonstrating that we value Te Reo. We are also able to build relationships so that we can ‘know and grow our learners’ – a Whangaparaoa College goal. This has been fun and we have enjoyed sharing our ideas. Recently, Marius shared some relevant proverbs so we are making some posters to pop up around the department.
There is more to be done in this area and it will be exciting to reflect upon this in years to come.
Education Review Report (2016), Minstry of Education.