As I identify myself as a New Zealand Māori citizen, I need to not only be responsive to Māori students but also to the many other cultures of my students.
Elm Park School
Our school has a diverse number of ethnic cultures.
As stated previously:
- 30% New Zealand European
- 20% Pasifika
- 15% New Zealand Māori
- 13% Chinese
- 10% Indian
- 5% Other European
- 7% Other
We believe in our school that Maori is an important part of our school life.
Our management staff have invested time and money into professional development in Te Ao Māori.
3 staff members (including myself) have attended Te Wanganga o Aotearoa Te Ao Māori courses. As a result of this we were able to provide professional development for our staff.
We are fortunate to have 4 staff members identify as Māori, 3 as Pasifika, therefore our commitment to encouraging our Māori and Pasifika students is high.
- Each day starts with a Karakia and himene.
- A staff member who has the role of cultural advisor.
We also welcome new students and staff with a powhiri, lead by staff and our Kapa Haka roopu.
Learning foci and events that support cultural celebrations e.g. Waitangi Day, Matariki, Māori, Samoan and Tongan language weeks.
A strong Kapa Haka roopu who perform at the annual Koanga Fesitval.
Our school believes and cares about raising Māori achievement by prioritising and tracking of Maori achievement. Most Māori and Pasifika students achieve well, especially in Literacy. (ERO, 2013)
We encourage whanau participation in school events and have whanau hui where parents and caregivers are given the opportunity to voice their opinions or concerns.
As a Māori teacher at Elm Park School I need to work harder at applying my understanding and knowledge of teaching Māori students, to other cultures. This is where I can incorporate the Tuakana-teina concept. This is a relationship which provides an older or more expert tuakana to help or guide and younger or less expert teina. (Ministry of Education, 2009).
Through engaging with families, and creating those strong educational links, and by being culturally proficient, all these combined will create a positive environment for our learners.
Education Review Office (2013) Elm Park School Report. Retrieved 26 October, 2015 from http://www.ero.govt.nz/Early-Childhood-School-Reports/School-Reports/Elm-Park-School-23- 12-2013/2-Learning
Ministry of Education. (2012, January). The New Zealand Curriculum update (16). Retrieved October 26, 2015 from http://www.waitangi.tki.org.nz/assets/Uploads/NZC-Update-Issue-16.pdf
Ministry of Education. (2009). Tuakana-teina. Retrieved October 26, 2015 from http://tereomaori.tki.org.nz/Curriculum-guidelines/Teaching-and-learning-te-reo- Maori/Aspects-of-planning/The-concept-of-a-tuakana-teina-relationship