When I asked my class if anybody knew what Waitangi Day was about only one student put their hand up. This made me feel so sad and disheartened. Admittedly they are only 7 & 8 year olds but they know what Christmas is do they not?
At that very moment I made the decision that every student in my class would have the opportunity to learn about their bicultural heritage. That as New Zealanders they have the right to know it but also the obligation to be part of it. I started off by presenting the 3 P's to them:
These are the 3 principles that I will weave into my daily practice and conversations with the children. They need to have an understanding of why we use tikanga and te reo Maori in our classroom. I want them to leave my class at the end of the year with the understanding that it doesn't just stop once they leave my class. I will fulfil my obligation by making sure that I work in partnership with the tamariki and their whanau, that I protect the taonga of New Zealand (which includes the tamariki), and that we participate in tikanga and te reo Maori on a daily basis.
note: apologies for the missing macrons. Blogger was not cooperating on this!