Sunday, 3 July 2016

Whanaungatanga and ako in action.

One of the things that I have been noticing in our environment here at Rototuna Senior High School is the concept of whanaungatanga. The relationships that are developed between students, students and teachers and between teachers are really based on mutual respect. The learning advisories and the vision underpinning the curriculum really encourages collaboration in a real way. The structure of the timetable has also been developed to provide teachers have purposeful non contact time at the same time so that they can meet, prepare and plan. I see groups of teachers collaborating and planning together everywhere, everyday - great modelling for our students that we want them to work together and we do it ourselves! I have taken some pictures here of literally a ten minute walk around and this is what I found, by the way it was character mufti day!

The teachers here are provided with a multitude of opportunities to extend their thinking about pedagogy (teaching and learning) and about what collectively we as educators can do to keep learning at the centre of all that we do. I have been astounded at the depth at which these teachers reflect snd collaborate.  In group discussions and general day to day teacher reflections teachers open up and share their shortcomings and perceived weaknesses in the hope to gain support and advice from their colleagues to improve their practice. I have taken to describing this as 'raw'. This is where I see teachers stripping themselves right back to the unknown, showing their vulnerability and acknowledging that there is always space to learn - hence raw - taking it back to bare. This is the true meaning of ako where we are not always going to be a teacher and at times we too have to become the learner. It is a privilege to be in this space.

The Senior High School timetable needs to be structured in a way that allows us to collaborate purposefully with each other and between the high schools.

Below is a link to an article written by Irma Cooke who is a teacher at Rototuna Junior High School. A direct quote from the article highlights both whanaungatanga and ako.

"We are finding the recipe for co teaching, just like our students are finding a way to connect with people over food, to tell stories, to develop strong relationships, and perhaps leave a legacy".

Teachers Matter: Learning Modules at Rototuna 

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