Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Importantce of Whakawhanaungātanga

Did this really cool thing today in Y11 English. This was the last of my classes to meet... and I was slightly nervous about this particular class. All bar 3 in dark blue senior shirts. Surprising how much of an attitude change in our Heights kids already!! :) Anyway - got them to write 'Whakawhanaungātanga' in the backs of their books.

We broke the phrase down into more manageable parts. Underlined whanau. Circled Ngā. Whanau = family. Whanaungā = relations. Whanaungātanga = the way we do things with relations/whanau, what is acceptable/tika. Whakawhanaungātanga = to build and create relationships.

When I heard bits of muttering I very quietly, but calmly said, "If you feel uncomfortable learning te reo Māori in an English class, just be patient, you'll see why in a minute."

I talked about the importance of whakawhanaungātanga, particularly at y11. Because not only do we have to learn to understand ourselves, but enable ourselves to relate to others, inside the classroom and outside too.

Then students shared some things about themselves with their peers in the groups they were sitting in. I got them all to stand up in a massive circle and share their name and two things about themselves with the whole class. They all did. Some quicker than others. Nearly every kid in that class mentioned their pets. Way cool. I shared some stuff too and then got them all to sit again.

From there, they began the traditional intro letter I'd had all my other English classes do.

Beginning from full whakawhanaungātanga just felt so much more right. Beautiful.