Kia ora e te whanau
This week as part of our Teachers Only Day we are being challenged to become more culturally responsive in our thinking, our speaking, our listening and our doing. It is a FACT that Maori and Pasifika learners do not perform well in our current educational system. For too long we have avoided this TRUTH and said over and over, “I treat everyone the same no matter what their culture.” Well, the uncomfortable truth is that treating everyone the same is not equitable. If we focus on equity, recognising that not all individuals have the same opportunities and that not all systems are fit for all cultural backgrounds we can begin to right the past wrongs in education.
This year we have all been working on our Pepeha, how we introduce ourselves and share our background connections with each other. Most of you will be familiar with this and many of you can probably share your own. When I practice my Pepeha the idea of the place you are from, the Maunga/Mountain and Awa/river you were brought up alongside is really special and I often think about the Takitimu’s and the Aparima river as my grounding, calm place that I connect to.
Mountains are like school culture, they take time to form and to stay on course. That takes patience.
Mountains have a view on life and its direction. It looks great from the top. But we know avalanches happen.
Mountains are as much about engagement as perspective. The swirling west coast Haast River started in a mountain.
Mountains protect. They are unfazed by the fickle clouds.
Mountains cast aside the urgency of the now, the 24 hour news cycle, the roller-coaster stock market and trivial gossip over coffee cups!
If a mountain denies the river its water the river soon goes out of existence.
Parents and caregivers, we need, for the sake of our children, to think like a mountain.
We are called to see the big picture:
I have a new found respect through my learning journey for our Maori Brothers and Sisters who refer to their ancestors, their Whakapapa and especially their mountains.
We are nearly halfway through 2021 already, getting through to the end is just like climbing a mountain.