Te aromihi pouako e puta ai ngā ihu o ngā ākonga Māori

Making changes: What to think about

While teachers put plans into action, they can revise the responses they made to reflective questions at earlier stages of this inquiry and knowledge-building cycle.

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For example:

  • How does our practice help meet the needs of our Māori students?
  • How will our progress towards achieving our appraisal goals be monitored (for example, through student voice or self-monitoring) and recorded?
  • What support do I need to achieve my appraisal goals?

As teachers apply their new learning in their practice, it is important that they gather and examine evidence of what is different because of this changed practice. This will help them in the next stage of inquiry (Reviewing the impact of changes). It will also help them to evaluate the worth of the professional learning they’ve engaged in and to answer such questions as “What have we learnt?” and “How is our learning visible in our practice?”

Changes will of course extend beyond the classroom. For example, you may want to review the school’s student management system to make sure it continues to meet the school’s needs as changes are made in recording and monitoring the progress of Māori students.

Another area where change may occur is reporting. The resource From the New Zealand Curriculum to School Curriculum contains the following vignette (source unknown) on reporting Māori student achievement:

Each year, our school/kura reports to parents on achievement in the two core areas of literacy and numeracy. The turnout is always great.

We use the reporting back as a platform to discuss and showcase a particular curriculum area or aspect; last year it was poetic writing, with artefacts of children’s work on display. Teachers explained the process and the product. This year, we will showcase thinking skills.

We have found it a fascinating exercise to show parents and whānau the aspirations (unidentified) of our Māori students and then ask them to guess which of the stated aspirations is their child’s. One parent said: “All we want is that our child reads, writes, and does maths well.” I replied, “I know – that’s why I asked the kids about their aspirations, not the whānau!” A survey revealed that a lot of non-Māori parents would appreciate a similar opportunity.

It will come as no surprise that the most successful way of notifying parents/whānau about hui is to make personal contact, talk about the purpose of the hui, and then follow up with reminders. Preferably by phone or – even better – face to face/kanohi ki te kanohi.

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