Whakawhanaungatanga in practice

In the past I have always created class ‘agreements’ with groups in the first term as this has seemed the most logical time to start. However, this year with my year 9 and 10 classes I experimented with holding this off until term two when they had settled better into the school and class.

This week I have been putting into practice the principles around ‘Whakawhanaungatanga’ and supporting students in years 9 and 10 to consider the way they relate to themselves, the world and their lives.

After a discussion around Whakawhanaungatanga and the purpose for exploring this I split the group in two and asked them to brainstorm their personal responses to the principles of Tika and Tikanga by considering first what their values are and how they are compromised.

These are the results:

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This was a really valuable exercise in uniting the group as one whanau who are aware of each others personal Tika and the Tikanga that they expect from each other. I encouraged them to think deeply and honestly and avoid writing what they thought they ‘should’. We also discussed the concept of Ako and building mutually respectful and balanced relationships between teacher-learner.

Maori students in each of the classes shared their ideas around the word, including asking the class to respect their culture or wanting to look further into the etymology of the word. There was a sense of the maori students beginning to connect and feel an investment in the work which was supported by using the words throughout the rest of the lesson to praise and remind students about behaviour.

We will now take these ideas and distill them into our Pono – everyday actions we live by and keep reinforcing the language.