Te Reo and EdBookNZ project 2015

Ko te manu e kai āna i te miro nona te ngahere.

Ko te manu e kai āna i te mātauranga, nona te ao.

The bird that consumes the berry his is the forest. The bird that consumes knowledge his is the world.

“E fafaga tama a manu i fuga o la’au, ‘ae fafaga tama a tagata i upu ma tala”

Language and Culture are sustenance for our children”.

In the early 1980s, I trained as a Māori language teacher under the guidance of Wiremu Hohepa. When I attended Christchurch Teacher’s college I met someone who was like me with a passion for language. Her name was Aroha and she was a member of the Māori Woman’s welfare league. So those early years  of my education journey to become a teacher, I was immersed in Māori language and tikana.

I am fluent in Samoan so I took to Māori language like duck to water. I was the Kapahaka leader because I had excellent pronunciation and under Aroha’s skilled leadership, she brought me up to speed with waiata and dance.

I always believed that I would teach Māori and over the years Te Reo has always been part of my classroom programme.

When I graduated from teacher’s college I joined a Catholic school and Māori is part of the special character teaching. Therefore teaching Māori has always been part of whom I am. Later as my own understanding of bilingualism developed I taught Samoan and even in my bilingual unit we worked closely with our Māori whanau as between us we had a similar goal and that was academic success for our tamaiti.

In my ongoing research to better understand the registered teacher criteria I have been reading around Tātaiako and have been learning more about the meaning of Tangata Whenuatanga which is the affirming of Māori learners as Māori, providing contexts for learning where the language, identity, and culture of Māori learners and their whānau is affirmed.

At Newmarket school we already have a lead teacher for Māori and that is our deputy principal, Eilleen. However for me, I am also a resource person for pronounciation and also for our local stories. Since I have been at this school I have made it a mission to find out as much as I can about our local iwi and history. Matariki allows me the luxury of paying closer attention to the natural environment and each year I add to the ongoing research I have been gathering in regards to who we are and where we come from as a school.

Because this is the month for Matariki, it is also the time to learn a new skill and to revisit Māori language. It is a time of achnowledging those who have come before us and to pave the way for those coming after us.

I have always believed in leaving a legacy both for school and as an educator. As July fast approaches I will soon be working extensively with educators from around New Zealand as part of Connected Educator Month. This year my focus is on the registered teachers criteria and this year the outcome is Tangata Whenuatanga. I have taken the document, Tātaiako: Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Māori and have used this to underpin the registered teachers criteria. I have built the leadership coordinators and soon will be calling for other educators to take part. By undertaking this project, I want to raise awareness of several values that underpin the document and by understanding these values our educators will be better able to affirm Māori learners as Māori through providing contexts for learning where the language, identity, and culture of Māori learners and their whānau is affirmed.

Relevant RTC Kupu Meaning
RTC5, RTC11, Wānanga participating with learners and communities in robust dialogue for the benefit of Māori learners’ achievement
RTC1, Whānaungatanga actively engaging in respectful working relationships with Māori learners, parents, whānau, hapū, and iwi
RTC2, RTC7, Manaakitanga showing integrity, sincerity, and respect towards Māori beliefs, language, and culture
RTC3, RTC9, RTC10, Tangata Whenuatanga affirming Māori learners as Māori, providing contexts for learning where the language, identity, and culture of Māori learners and their whānau is affirmed
RTC4, RTC6, RTC8, RTC12 Ako taking responsibility for their own learning and that of Māori learners.

If you would like to join us in the edbooknz 2015 project, I will be calling for interested participants in July. Here are my confirmed team coordinators, Stephanie , Lavinia , Hazel , Alyx confirmed Team coordinators for 2015 project.

I wonder how the collaborative project will evolve. I have an idea but implementing it will require a team effort.

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