Thursday, August 7, 2014

Whanau

I have just finished have learning conferences with students and their whanau and I am really pleased about how easy it was to talk openly about students learning with them.

Thinking back to the first round, I didn't know their children at all back then.  It was the third week of term and I had probably only just memorised everybody's name!  I was nervous about making judgements about what goals to make because I honestly did not know anything about what their potential needs were.

This time it was all about celebrating success, realising both strengths and weaknesses and looking to the future with commitment and excitement.

My biggest reflection was around the learning culture in our classroom.  We have become a learning whanau.  The learning that we do is collaborative.  The students have a tuakana-teina relationship in that we all learn from each other.  It is a safe place where everybody's voice is valued.

Which then got me thinking ahead to next year. The Year 4's move onto a different syndicate but will my Year 3's still get to be in the same class?  Is it more beneficial for them to stay together?  Do they need to branch out wider and work with more people in the syndicate?

So I brought the idea back to the key concept of why my class is my class - we are whanau.  Why break us up?  Let us start the new year welcoming younger children in to a well established classroom with an amazing learning culture.

Relationships, whakawhanaungatanga, for me is the foundation of education.