Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Reading Together - It works!

I have had the great pleasure of co-ordinating Reading Together in my school this year. Two of my colleagues have facilitated the workshops while I work behind in the background. I have to say, without a doubt this has been worth every bit of organisation and after school sessions. I can see why Pita Sharples worked so hard to have this available to all schools for always.

Here is some of the feedback from some of our families, that just warms my heart.

* I wish I knew about this for my other children
* I didn't realise you could make reading a fun time
* Mum is more engaged in homework
* My child has jumped reading levels.

If you ever get a chance to run this programme in your school, please do!

National Coaching in Education conference - Reflections

Better Conversations
At the recent National Coaching in Education conference in Sydney, Australia I had the great pleasure of listening to Jim Knight (Instructional Coaching guru) present on the importance of relationships and conversations. I've been nestled into his book Better Conversations for the last few weeks and have really enjoyed the real-life stories he has shared from thousands of educators/coaches across the globe.
There are a number of quotes that resonated with me, the one that made me think and ponder the most was the following quote about student voice: "Student voice is when a student expresses an opinion, it is heard by the teacher and something is done about it" (p. 28)
I've collected student voice (in early childhood and primary) and have to be honest, many times I have collected this as a tick box to say that it was done, then didn't do much with it. Which makes me think, should we be collecting student voice if we have no plans on doing anything with it?

OCoL: Ōtara Continuity of Learning comes to an end for 2019!

For the past two years, I have been co-ordinating OCoL: Ōtara Continuity of Learning with a desire to support early childhood educators and primary school teachers to talk about the transition to learning, to contextualise and surface challenges and opportunities specific to our Otara region. As we come to the end of our second year it is heartwarming to see that there is still a core group of people dedicated to meeting and learning from each other.

Together we are stronger!

Our November Hui will be the last one for 2019. Please bring a plate to share as we celebrate the year that was. If you would like to come to this session, please email naketa@kiamahira.co.nz. (Please invite other team members you think will be interested in hearing this presentation).

Learning in Nature
7th November
Wymondley Road School Library
3.45pm - 4.30pm

You are invited to hear a 45-minute presentation by Play and Learn teachers about the importance of learning in nature and the impact on oral language, brain development, mental wellness and creativity.

Play and Learn Education Programmes have been running for 20+ years in Otara and Papatoetoe. Their nature programmes are now nationwide. They will share their insights about their Nature programmes and share why nature is important for all learners.
OCoL (Ōtara Continuity of Learning) is an opportunity for early childhood teachers and new entrant teachers to come together to discuss issues relevant to our community. We established our group in May 2018, and have a core group of teachers who participate regularly. You can view notes from previous hui here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Nurturing learner agency through inquiry

Straight into the workshop with Kath Murdoch and she is challenging the group to assume at the crux of all learning is connectedness and relationships, and offers us a strategy to connect with the people in the group. 

Question swap strategy

What is one question you could ask anyone in the room in order to find out a little more about them?
Credit: kjinquiry

Write a question, find someone in the room and ask them your question, they then ask you a question - swap questions and find another person to ask your new question.

The way that you work with learners is so wound up in our beliefs about learning.

What is your image of the child?
Watch this video and identify words that describe the child.

What is the role of the teacher then?
* Facilitate the thinking
* Cultivate curiosity
* Scaffolding
* Design learning experiences that means kids are eager and hungry to find out.

How do I see the child?
How do I see myself?
How do I see the curriculum?
How do I view learning itself?
How do we see our community?

Know the curriculum so well, that you can let it go.

How well do you know the curriculum?

What is learner agency?

  • Having multiple pathways available to you?
  • Learners connecting with other learners
  • Agency means connection - self to others

Inquiry Strategy
  • THINK - Think of what 'learner agency' means to you
  • MAKE - Create your thinking using popsicle and matchsticks
  • LINK - Share your creation with another person, invite them to interpret it. You look at the other persons creation and interpret. Then find the common threads that link the understandings.

Gradual and immediate release of responsibility
Growing students learning capacity by flipping the instruction model

  • Which of these are great opening lines?
  • Share a list of opening lines from books.
  • Invite the participants to share the opening lines they like and why.
  • Write down they why words e.g. emotional, connectedness
  • Invite the participants to write their own opening line and share them..
  • Go and find more great opening lines
  • Now let's write.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Māori Teachers' Conference 2019 video

Now that I'm working part-time I have been able to dedicate my time to immersing myself in Te Ao Māori. I am loving it! As a whānau, we have felt the pinch financially of me stepping down from the comforts of full-time salary work BUT it has opened up some many more doors for me in terms of living life. This video passed by my FB screen via Maori Minute and I purposely went on to hear Quinton Hita (who was awesome) and found some powerhouse speakers while I was there. See the video and website link below:

My takeaways:

* Quinton shares the knowledge of Te Reo Māori so that when he's 80 he won't be having conversations with himself (what an epic example of servant leadership).
* Are we feeding our teachers - they are so busy serving our tamariki - are we giving them space and time they need to be language experts?
* Education is a journey, not a destination
* Take a risk, our kids deserve it!

Māori Teachers' Conference 2019 video

25th NZ PPTA National Māori Teachers’ Conference, 7-8 Hōngongoi 2019, Sudima Lake Rotorua, Ngā Huarahi ki te Angitu Celebrate our successes together. Te Huarahi Māori Motuhake extend warmest regards and thanks for your support and attendance at our hui ā-tau. The video of speakers and snippets from delegates are provided for your interest, enjoyment and wellbeing. Please keep a look out for postings from a range of conference material throughout term 3. Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi.

I'm going back to school 👩‍🏫🦸‍♀️again.

I really don't have the time to study, nor should study be a priority for me as I transition from the comforts of 'full-time salary work' to full-time 'develop my own business work'. 

Nonetheless, I've enrolled in another Masters of Education and have started the Reflecting on Professional Practice paper at AUT. I've just opened my first reading, I almost slammed the lid back down when the first paragraph had 'epistemology of pragmatic constructivism' in one sentence 😳🤷‍♀️

I read on and found this beauty though:

'In changing and uncertain times, as experienced in today’s world, people want their leaders to act morally whereby they will not produce harm but rather will show the virtues of doing good, of honouring others, of taking positive stands, and of behaving in ways that clearly show that their own self-interests are not the driving motivation behind their leadership'

I am super excited about learning lots more and figuring out what 'epistemology of pragmatic constructivism' means. 😂

Original article found here 👉

Naketa as a child

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Pacific Symposium 2019 in Tokoroa, NZ.

Last month we presented "Identity in a Global World" at the Pacific Symposium 2019 in Tokoroa, NZ. You will find a summary of our key ideas below: 
Key themes:

C6  The service curriculum respects and supports the right of each child to be confident in their own culture and encourages children to understand and respect other cultures.

Global citizenship
C6  The service curriculum respects and supports the right of each child to be confident in their own culture and encourages children to understand and respect other cultures.

Unconscious bias
C3  Adults providing education and care engage in meaningful, positive interactions to enhance children’s learning and nurture reciprocal relationships.

Aspirations of whānau
C11  Positive steps are taken to respect and acknowledge the aspirations held by parents and whnau for their children. 

Our current system of lumping students into ‘Pasifika learners” has to stop. Our children come with so much rich cultural capital that can be completely disregarded if we focus on placing them into the kete of ‘Pasifika & Maori learners.

What’s important when talking about ‘identity’ is not how we categorise our students, but how they see themselves.

What is the story of your name?
How do you nurture identity in your environment?
If we want our tamariki to prioritise identity, it starts with YOU! What is your identity?

Global Citizenship:

“One Size does not fit all” - Refrain from putting our children into a Pasifika Learners basket.
Global citizenship is the idea that all people have rights and civic responsibilities that come with being a member of the world, with whole-world philosophy and sensibilities, rather than as a citizen of a particular nation or place.

The ability to walk in different worlds with confidence. 

Which worlds/spaces can you operate in confidently?

Unconscious bias:
  • Assuming an older person walking with a young child is the child’s grandparent
  • The belief that men will not have care-giving responsibilities
  • Expecting lower achievement from Māori/Pacific Nations students
  • Assuming a female applicant with young children will take more time off work than a male applicant

Once we know that biases are not always explicit, we are responsible for them. We all need to recognise and acknowledge our biases and find ways to mitigate their impact on our behaviour and decisions. - Equality Challenge Unit UK: Unconscious Bias in Higher Education Review 2013.

Aspirations of whānau
Ask whānau, what do you dream for your child? Record their answers and then ask yourself - So what? What am I going to do about this?