Kia ora koutou, nau mai haere mai ki tēnei kura, te kura o Hukanui.
Ko Nadine Malcom tōku ingoa. Nō Kirikiriroa ahau. I te taha o tōku pāpā ko Te Arawa te waka, ko Ngāti Tarawhai te iwi. I te taha o tōku māmā ko Ngāti Awa te iwi, ko Mataatua te waka.
Kia ora koutou.
I think it’s vitally important that teachers upskill themselves in te reo and tikanga Māori but also marry that and use effective second language acquisition techniques. You know, you could give teachers lists of vocabs and sentence structures, but what are the most effective ways to teach it, so that embedding happens effectively for the children? You know posters up on the wall and a couple of songs although is really great but what are the nitty grittys? What are the actual nuts and bolts of how you teach, how that makes it effective for the children? And I think that's why our programme, our te reo Māori programme, has worked because the teachers are getting confident in that knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori but they’ve actually got some practical techniques on how to deliver it so it’s effective and so the children are acquiring the language successfully.
We started our te reo Māori programme nearly two years ago. We established a working committee of passionate teachers within the school. I had heard of Jeanne Gilbert and her work with the languages and so I contacted her because I felt there was a gap in the pedagogy aspects of how we were going to teach te reo Māori. So there were two things happening: one we wanted to upskill and build confidence in the teachers of using te reo and teaching te reo, but we also needed them to employ effective principles on actually how to deliver te reo Māori as a second language.
The structures and systems we put in place across the school I like to think of it - it was really multilayered. So on the outside we had the go ahead from the board and the principal supporting the programme and giving the funding which funded my position to lead. Then we had myself and Jeanne who worked together and she acted as sort of mentor/coach and we’d do some whole school planning. She then worked with the Māori team, the group of teachers. So it was like a filter down process. So we’d work together up here, then I’d work with the Māori team leaders and then I would go into each of the classrooms and we worked in the cycle model. We’d used this model before with our literacy and writing development PD across the school. So we timetabled up slots for me to go into each classroom for half an hour and model a lesson. It might be a specific te reo Māori something modelled or it could have been a second language acquisition method that I would model. The second half of the term was devoted to me going back into those same classrooms and the teachers would then model back for me, I would observe them and I would provide written and verbal feedback and feedforward, and we would go from there.
I think having that trusting relationship with that person that’s coming in is really, really important and it’s something that develops along the time as well to get the buy in of teachers.
For the te reo Māori programme I think you have to allay fears first of all. That it is okay to start no matter what level you’re at. It’s absolutely okay to start if you are at the level of the child, and make that explicit to the child, to the class.
I knew that I was going to be on a big learning continuum. It wasn’t one of my strengths and I knew that it wasn’t one of my strengths but then I knew that we were all in the same position. For us as teachers there was a continuum of people like me who were learning and people who had more skills. So I think that was really positive for me to think well I don’t know all the answers but I can find out, and I’m going to be learning with the children, and I might make some mistakes along the way but hey that’s what learners do.
Key shifts I’ve seen in classroom practices probably would be the formulaic language that the teacher is using, that’s the everyday instructional language. That has increased hugely. They’ll have prompts on their whiteboards around the rooms for them to always remind them to as much as they can use the instructions in te reo Māori. Also in our planning we have changed the way we planned for te reo Māori. Planning is more purposeful and the expectations are that every class at Hukanui is teaching te reo Māori. So planning has changed as well.