Pegasus Bay School Principal, Roger Hornblow, talks about the ways that whole-staff PLD benefited them when taking the Te Reo Puāwai course. Teacher, Aine Elliot says, "It was good for ideas and also for accountability".
Roger Hornblow: The aims for us in doing Te Reo Puāwai was increased levels of not just te reo but also the culturally responsive practices. When we’re looking at the bicultural obligations for staff, it’s one of those things that you don’t learn through osmosis, you need to be really deliberate about giving them the skills and the skills at a personal level need to be not just dabbled in, but actually have the outcomes of practice and performance, in the learning communities – daily use so that the kids hear it, the kids see it, and the kids see it as being natural. When you’re looking at a collaborative work environment, it needs to be collaborative learning as well and that collaborative learning needs to be them sitting down together.
Vicki McKenzie: I think because we’ve all done the course together and you can share ideas or you check in with people and say, “Are you using this in your learning community?” or, “Have you tried this?” and you might go to other learning communities and see something that they’ve got off the course as well. So I just think it gives you more sharing within the whole kura, which is much more powerful than one or two people doing it on their own.
Aine Elliot: The benefits we’ve found with so many of the staff doing it was, we could keep a track of each other. It helped us encourage each other, ask questions so although the facilitator was always available over email, and she was very good at that. It was also nice to say, “Have you done it, have you handed this in?” so it was good for ideas and also for accountability.
Vicki McKenzie: I think the change that it has brought is probably awareness and also that there’s loads of resources out there that you have access to that can support you with your learning and teaching of te reo Māori and that it’s okay to be learning alongside the tamariki, we’re not expected to know everything. So the biggest benefit for me was going on the course and having that regular content and be able to go back and really incorporate it into the learning community that we’ve got. We use it a lot more, especially having a regular te reo Māori session time as well. The tamariki are using it a lot more. I came in this morning and they were all in here singing waiata, just, which hasn’t happened in the past, so the impact has been huge.
Roger Hornblow: The outcomes for the course, I think, has been significant because of the climb that we have been really deliberate about over the last two and a half years. We wanted really culturally inclusive practices for, not just the staff, but for pupils and parents as well. I think there’s no one course or no one PD session that’s going to give answers to culturally inclusive practice, I think that Te Reo Puāwai we’ve used as part of the big picture. The thing that’s really important for us is a lot of PD sessions can be actually quite passive, you can just go along for the ride, but Te Reo Puāwai, it meant that each person individually needed to be accountable and responsive for that learning, so that was what was attractive for us.