Friday, 4 November 2016

Haeata - Week Four

Almost November and the term is going very quickly. We are slowly seeing more staff arriving at our temporary base, the old Burwood School site. As the new staff arrive, we gather even more views and conversations about each other and education as a whole. We are so lucky to have this time together.

Day One

Today started with a look at another Essential Agreement - Hauora. The wellbeing of staff and students is such an important part of how Haeata will work and it was good to spend some time talking about how this may look here.
We talked about Te Whare Tapa Whā and the four quadrants Wairua - Spiritual, Tinana - Physical, Hinengaro - Cognition and Whānau - Family/Social. We then split into groups to look at how we could communicate this to our ākonga and whānau. Our group liked the idea of having a circle, as it also linked to the Circle of Wellbeing that we are using for our enrolment process.
Our graphic was a natural circle with simple symbols, a bird for hinengaro, plant for whānau, water for wairua and a fish for tinana. We layered this over our Dispositions and Principles so they would be linked to each part. Each group then presented their ideas to the whole staff so we could get an even better picture and feed into what the SLT are working on in this area.
The next session was looking at the curriculum and inquiry learning models. We had an interesting discussion at the beginning over what curriculum means to each of us and came up with some notes around the positives and negatives of our current curriculum. Then we discussed in groups and at this time I was part of a discussion around the NZC and what subject areas were compulsory or not. This led to me finding this article written in 2013 which talks about the pros and cons of making subjects compulsory.  It made me think about why we have some compulsory and some not - what is important to our community?
We were then split into groups and each group looked at a different inquiry model and then we shared each model in different groups.
Project based
Personal, interest based
Play based
Issues or problem based
 I found this really interesting as each model had positives and negatives and we felt as a group that they could all be used a various ages and stages of inquiry dependent on the needs of the ākonga. Our group got quite carried away and related it to baiting and setting traps for students to fall into and then supporting them through it. Also having it being all about knowing the creature you were baiting (Possum vs lion), capture and study them, tag and release. We also talked about having the right habitat for each creature - not putting a camel in Antartica. Yes, we are all a bit mad.

Day Two

The day started with a workshop on Collaborative Practice and Karyn asked us 3 questions around collaborative teaching.
What excites you the most? My immediate reactions to this were around working with others with similar mindsets, being able to pool thoughts and ideas and being able to bounce ideas off each other. Getting other points of view and working on the fly together around student needs had to be a plus. Some of the other comments were around getting to know students from different perspectives and being with "yes" people.
What is your biggest fear?
Not having space to think - always being around people and the fear that we may not work well together - although that doesn't seem likely so far, as all the staff are so awesome - seriously! Some others mentioned the fear of letting go of power and control. I thought about this and from my work in the School of Apps and the School of Music I felt that I had managed this a while ago and it wouldn't be quite as much a factor for me.
What are your questions?
My questions were: How do you create an open, honest group? How do you define Collaborative teaching? This was later answered by teaching models.
We moved into looking at words that mean collaboration - teamwork, sharing, togetherness, conversations, reciprocal, being flexible, taking risks, disagreeing - and then to the opposite - individual, segregation, independent, solitary, one dimensional, own agenda.
(Friend, Cook, Hurley-Chamberlain, & Shamberger, 2010)
One thing that came up was the difference between collaboration and cooperation. We decided that cooperation is passive and has power on one side to go along with it, but you can still work as a silo. It has a feeling of niceness and agreement. Collaboration, we all have input into a goal in our own way, moving on a developing something together. This can make you question yourself and create something bigger.
Team members do not have to be best mates but there needs to be a sense of harmony. 
We then had a look at some team teaching models and although I have not seen these labelled as such, I have certainly used some of these in the past. All have their place in collaborative teaching and we can incorporate this into our planning. We can do this by asking ourselves "Which team teaching model are we using for this part of the teaching?" Karyn also made the comment that when using team teaching you need to talk at the end of the day for 10 minutes to just go through what happened during the day before getting into planning for the next week.  Just so everyone has the chance to say "This is what I feel or have noticed about today."

The stages of team teaching were interesting. Our staff have a wide range of experience in this area. Some have had no experience, and can count how many times another teacher has even been in their class, right through to those that have been collaborating for years. Stages of team teaching that you go through are from Organisational to Cohesiveness. We need to be aware of each stage and make sure we move from each stage to the next, rather than being in a cycle or holding pattern. As new kaiako or ākonga arrive, this stage will shift. Agreements will always need to be made on things but not to the detriment of the next step. Everyone needs to be contributing to the greater good. We need to be asking where are we in this and what do we need to do to move.
We also had a discussion around Pedagogy vs Andragogy vs Heutagogy and I found this article on the difference between these to be very interesting. If we can support students in self-directed learning then we will grow people who will be lifelong learners.
Leaders need to give permission for the implementation dip to happen. Initial data may fall as things are changing and being innovative. Collecting data over time may show that dip but with new innovations, this can take time to come up.  It can happen with achievement, mindsets and relationships and we need to be aware of it and work to move through it.
In the afternoon I was involved in a meeting around Augmented Reality and some possible ideas around how this may be used at Haeata. I am excited by the possibilities that could open up for our ākonga and am looking forward to seeing where this may lead.
After school I went to a lecture on the Pedagogies of Surprise by Professor Peter O'Connor and I have written a separate blog on this that you can read here.

Day Three

The Essential Agreement we looked at today was Te Ao Māori. We revisited our Cultural Narrative and had a look at how we could use the information in that narrative, how it would influence action and how it would inform our planning. We looked at our Cultural Landscape and filled out a sheet that has been developed by CoreEd which was titled "What do we know about our kura and the cultural landscape it belongs to?" There were sections to fill in about possible Horopaki ako, Localised stories, Landmarks, Tupuna, Iwi/hapū events, Waiata, Marae/hapū and iwi, Reo (one specific local difference in dialect being the change from using ng to k), and many more.  I found this to be a really interesting exercise that gave me a lot of insight into where this community came from, what was important and how this fitted with Haeata. I have since spent more time looking at the websites we were given, learning so much more about our Māori history and how it relates to our kura. Here are a few sites that I found really interesting. Ngai Tahu, Tuahiwi Marae, Christchurch City Library for some local history, specifically Tī Kōuka Whenua, and Kotahi Mano Kāika (KMK) .
We looked at our bilingual provision and how that was going to be at Haeata. Getting our heads around the different levels of provision was really helpful and Mel facilitated some role plays where our kaiako were students and she took the class at differing levels. This was a useful way to get our heads around what might happen in our hapori. I know from this that my goal for myself is to be operating at Level 3 of this immersion process for next year. I have a lot of challenges around this, learning about our history, learning Te Reo, but I feel this is the best environment I have had to enable me to do so with support and everyone else in the same waka. It has been a humbling and emotional process that I am very excited about.
The afternoon was spent looking at reflecting and how we do this as well as what we do to learn more and improve practise. As a blogger I find this relatively easy as I am used to writing my thoughts and I read a lot of articles through blogs and from Twitter. I put more personal thoughts on another platform, but a lot of my reflective practise and documenting learning happens in a blog. At Haeata we have a Google site for our reflections and Practising Teacher Criteria (PTC). What I like about this site is that it is split up into our Dispositions and our Essential Agreements for us to place evidence under. These have already been linked to the PTC so we are really focussing on what the underlying Values are for Haeata. The other thing I am really enjoying is getting feedback on my site. We all have one of the SLT as our coach and they make comments on our reflections and evidence. This is a new thing for me, but has been affirming and rewarding as I feel that what I have to say has meaning and is heard. Such a great feeling.

Day Four

Today we had a late start. Nice to be able to take stock and for me, recover from a very exciting evening where my daughter was named Dux of her school. Their kapa haka group has grown so much over the last year and it was good to hear them perform at such a high standard. This had me thinking about kapa haka at Haeata and what that means for ākonga. This led me to an article by Paul Whitinui "Kapa Haka counts: Improving participation levels of Māori students in mainstream secondary schools". This gave me more insight into kapa haka in schools and his views on culturally responsive teaching. I know that I will certainly be a huge supporter of kapa haka at Haeata. Often at Prizegivings you tend to daydream as the other year lists are read, and this one was no exception. I found myself analysing the evening with a Māori lens on and wondering about what an end of year event would look like at Haeata. 
The rest of the day was spent in our hapori. We started with a debrief on yesterday's session around Te Ao Māori where we shared how we felt. Our hapori then joined with Korepo which is the Year 7-10 hapori and we broke into groups to look at what a unit might look like across the kura for our first term. Our group came up with the idea of a celebration of identity and we had some robust conversations around community engagement and what this could look like. It is great to have this time to have these conversations and be able to build on ideas together. Another idea from a group was built around Kī-o-rahi. This was new to me, so I did a bit of research around the rules, history and opportunities. Great game and fun learning!
The next part was around our Principles and Dispositions that related to Te Ao Māori and talking about which we had a strong connection to. I really felt connected to Inclusive:

Ensure all ākonga have opportunities to participate in all aspects of our kura

Everyone will have access to Te Ao Māori and supported in their learning journey.

This really resonated with me as I go through this journey for myself. Haeata has been amazing in it's support and participation of Te Ao Māori and I really have felt at home here. We then wrote collectively into a document around our needs and skills in Te Ao Māori. This will be invaluable as we move forward with our learning.

Day Five

Our morning started with a Community Cafe. Many of the agencies that work with students in our community were invited in to meet with us and talk about what they offer. A great opportunity to meet with a large number of people. Andy gave an overview of where we are at this stage and some background to what our Values are. We were split into cross hapori groups and each met with four of the agencies to find out what they offered. The groups I met with were  24/7 Youthwork, Te Ora Hau, He Waka Tapu, RTLB and GenZ who will be running our After School programme. It was so good to talk to all of these groups, find out what they do and make contacts. During kai I also talked with people from Cyclone and Linc-Ed, connecting the dots from previous communications with both companies. We then shared our thoughts with our hapori, so between us we covered the many community groups that were there. So exciting to see what they can all bring to Haeata and I am looking forward to connecting with them all again once we have our ākonga.
Our afternoon was  a time for well-being and there was a fairly fierce game of netball or three and then some time relaxing and talking at The Bower, supporting our local businesses.

Once again the week has been amazing. Four weeks down and so much learnt and so much more to learn. My Māori made easy book by Scotty Morrison arrived today, so I know what I'll be starting on this weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Your blogposts are so great Sue. They re such a rich summary of each week. Thanks so much for writing them.