Tūrangawaewae

turangawaewae

In January 2016, I chose Whānaungatanga as my #oneword2016. I wrote a blog post setting 5 goals around Whānaungatanga, family, community, learning Mandarin, health and well being.

When I reflect on my 2016 year my goals have been nailed  and I feel content that I have developed growing understanding around my goals. My own understanding of Whānaungatanga has deepened and I thank Nathaniel  @nlouwrens for setting the challenges last year to help with #EdBlogNZ.

This year my #oneword2017 is Tūrangawaewae.

I have chosen this word because I believe that if you know who you are and where you come from then you are more in control of who you want to be and in choosing the paths to take to get there. I am actually at a stage of life where I feel contentment. I am happy in my work and with my home life. I give enough service to the education community to fulfil who I am. My sons are grown and I am proud of who they have turned out to be. My health is good but there is always room for improvement. By focussing of Tūrangawaewae. I want to identify and reflect on the spaces and people who help shape me. I have written about Tūrangawaewae previously and knew straight away that I have identified my oneword for 2017.

Mandarin

This year I will continue with Mandarin and take it into a second year. Yes I have passed HSK level 1 but if you throw a formulaic expression at me, I still feel tongue tied so want to move into basic proficiency communication.

Aging Parents

I want to continue taking care of my aging parents and acknowledge that is this really a family commitment and not just my decision so will continue the dialogue with my sisters. This year my dad will be 90 and I would like to complete his story with photos in preparation for this massive event and then start mums one.

Personal Health

My fitness levels have definitely improved this year and now to work on making healthier food choices. I love my bread by really must recognise the damage that this is having on my health.

ACCoS

This year as an Across School Leader for the ACCoS community I am aiming to grow the online community into a vibrant place for sharing and discussion.

Blogging and Presenting

I would like to aim for a weekly blog reflection post. I am just about there but maybe if I consciously put it out there then I will do it. I gave many presentations in 2016 and for this year I will consciously focus on co- presenting and even co-blogging.

Google

I have missed running TeachMeetNZ using Google+ Hangout and would like to run another session sometime this year with teachers from our school or in the ACCoS group. I am aiming to sit my level one Google Certification, something long overdue.

Travel

I am also really keen to travel more and will need my sisters support for this one as someone needs to be with mum and dad while I am gone.

Loss

Just on a sad note, I will be attending a funeral for a young man who died tragically. He was a friend of my younger son and oh so young having just turned 21 years old. As a teacher our students can touch our lives in many ways. I was his first teacher in that I relieved in his class the day his teacher was away.  He came right out and said who are you? I explained the circumstances of why I was in his class for the day and after that if I was out on duty he would come looking for me. As the years passed he became part of our family and would call all my sisters as aunties and my parents as Grandma and Grandad. But would still call me Mrs Van Schaijik and I never corrected him to using my first name. Events like this can remind us the importance of family and friendship. I watch my own son devastated by the event and know that this is one Christmas he will never forget and will be a marker for him for the rest of his live.

Tiritirimatangi

Just to finish with, if you are looking for an amazing place to spend a day then visit Tiritirimatangi. It is a small island in the Hauraki Gulf. Soon we will visit this incredible space for our Teacher Only Day. I haven’t quite convinced staff to come and stay there with me. For me Tiritirimatangi is one place that I feel incredibly connected to and that is what Tūrangawaewae istiri

 

 

 

Walking in my learner’s shoes.

shoes

Photo ninjaed from Ainslie Whitfield

This year has been an incredible year of personal learning. As I take time to reflect on this year I have much to celebrate.

(Listing is multistructural and I am aware of the ‘I’ however am just dumping information.)

So what does it mean to walk in my learner’s shoes?

This year I learnt a lot about the children I work with. Part of that was due to unpacking the ESOL Data at our school. I understood frustration as I developed foundation proficiency in Mandarin. I struggled to learn to read or even write in my new language. I can recognise just a few characters and celebrate my students who learn to quickly memorise 67 frequency words in English for reading. I understand the embarrassment of being put on the spot to speak in another language and feel my tongue swell up as I struggle to recall basic formulaic sentences. As for the tones, well that is another reflection.

I built strong relationships with my students learning English. Again unpacking their data supported this. I built stronger relationships with parents as I took time to find out more about them and where they came from. Like my learners I pushed myself to the limits of my comfort zone.  I chose to understand China at a greater level and made it a mission to attend events happening in Auckland. I also coordinated a school week focusing on Chinese language and activities.

Challenges?

  • Balancing work, life and family responsibilities.
  • Maintaining my Mandarin.
  • Continue to make connections with people face 2 face.

That work life balance is delicate at the moment.

Soon I will  head out to my place of sanctuary Tiritirimatangi. There my social media choice is instagram. I can practice mindfullness amongst the trees and snorkelling.

Where to next?

In 2017 I have my learning coach and I am excited because I enjoy having learning conversations with her. The last time she worked with me I ended up publishing a book with Pam so I can’t wait to see what happens next. I have chosen my focus word and that is Turangawaewae. This year was whānaungatanga.