Day 2 of the #28Daywriting challenge started with a perfect opportunity for me to walk the talk. I've been blogging a bit about the growth mindset (here and here) so at a quick staff meeting before school I really had to put all the chat into action.
As part of the start of year activities, the school hosted a powhiri to welcome the new members of the school community into the family. One of the DPs outlined the process at our briefing and informed me that she had a special job for me, I knew what was coming, she wanted me to lead the response. Daniel told me that he would be speaking in english and there was no expectation that I would speak Te Reo, but that I would have to lead a waiata. From earlier posts, some will be familiar with an embarrassing experience that I'd had and that I had challenged myself to remedy this situation (blog post here). I won't say that I've fully remedied this early concern but the growth mindset had to be the default.
Being in the growth mindset and armed with the knowledge that this would be a great learning experience I sought out the DP shortly after the meeting and we ran through the process again. She'd found several of the boys from our senior learning common who would stand alongside me to provide support (fits with the HPPS ideal that we are all learners and all teachers), the stereo system was set up with both waiata to act as a backing track and I was to be provided with several copies of the waiata to share around so that I wouldn't be singing alone and I didn't know the words or the tune (there is no danger of me ever being on NZ Idol). At this stage I have to thank my DP for being so supportive! This had provided enough scaffolding that I was fully comfortable with taking my part in the powhiri, albeit rather nervously.
Daniel spoke, the HPPS family sang their waiata, I spoke, and then a few of us sang our waiata in return. I'm convinced in hindsight that I didn't put in a NZ Idol winning performance but it was completed and I was proud of taking the right attitude to this.
I realised that part of this comfort had come with a strong day of PD at HNS last year when we had visited a marae as a full staff and there had been a lot of thought and effort put into the explanation of the process. This learning had been furthered when HNS had hosted an expert to help the year 6's understand the powhiri process and prepare them for their visit to Henderson Intermediate as part of their open day, I'd like to think this partly in response to my blog and pressure at a team meeting.
The idea that I can hold myself more accountable with this important cultural aspect of our schooling is quite reassuring, while I've only taken baby steps I'm reminded of some sensible words that starting is the hardest step to take.
At a family level pressure to expand my knowledge and skill in this area is also building, my 2 1/2 year old daughter regularly comes home from daycare singing songs in Te Reo and I have loved being able to sing these along with her. As this enjoyment and pressure builds I need to expand my repertoire, perhaps at HPPS I have the support to continue this journey.
On Thursday our school will jointly host a Waitangi Celebration with the secondary school, what an amazing opportunity to be the teacher and the learner.
Growth Mindset hat firmly on!