Sunday, May 23, 2010

Developing whānau priorities

I was privileged to visit Te Kura o Hiruharama up near Ruatoria a couple of weeks back and I was struck by a comment made by a parent.

"It's about everyone having an input on a whole, it's not the teachers are there and the whānau are there, we are one unit working together hopefully."

It made me think about the old adage 'It takes a village to raise a child'. Sometimes there can seem to be a big distance between school and home, sometimes, we even speak different languages in our different villages. This school has spent a lot of time talking with whānau and gathering in results of surveys to develop a set of three priorities that the school and home can work on together (sometimes these surveys result in developing something that the school can work on, on behalf of the parents, rather than in partnership with).

These priorities are evident in the school mission statement, in the school vision, and are evident in the planning of inquiry units. The concept of split screen thinking is evident here, as the priorities are skillfully and thoughtfully woven throughout elements at the school.

This led me to reflect on my own experiences in teaching:
Were the parents' priorities evident in my school vision / mission statement / lessons?
Was developing the school vision considered when planning units of work?

(image: I think this is Mt Hikurangi, at least it is a photo I took of a huge Mt on the way out to the school :) )

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