Friday, 6 February 2015

Day 5 of #28 days of writing: Waitangi Day - a true celebration

Last year I watched enviously as the Hobsonville Point School community (Primary & Secondary Schools) celebrated Waitangi Day in style, I'd been amazed at the activities taking place and thought that my own school and others could be doing more. A feeling which was clearly felt by others this year. It is easy to justify why more doesn't get done, start of the year, parents already incurring large costs, not enough time to organise etc etc. Forget the constraints, look at the positives.

Yesterday (I'm writing this in the early hours as I was too tired last night - sorry +Tom Barrett ) I was privileged to be part of the HPS community as their Waitangi Celebrations kicked off in earnest. To Maurie, Daniel, Sarah and Sharon and all the other staff and helpers, a huge credit to you that this event takes place and I was honoured to be part of the staff yesterday.

Since I started tagging my posts last year with the Registered Teacher Criteria I was disturbed to watch the trend that much of what I was doing wasn't explicitly meeting RTC 3 or 10. I was using Te Reo in the classroom, I had signs, we did art but much of this was superficial. Yesterday I knew would be different, what a revelation! See Steve's day 5 post for a great explanation of the day, its background with the school and some awesome photos.

Much of my day was spent at the Hobsonville Boat Ramp supervising the high school & primary students participate in Waka Ama activities, carving up meat in one of the kitchens and talking with parents and staff. I also went out in the Waka with other learners. I say other because I'd never done this before and I was as much of a learner as the children from my learning common many years younger. But the significance of the day is not what any one person did, it is in the multiple partnerships that were in play truly celebrating the partnership of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Staff, Learners, parents and others from the community all worked as one yesterday to make a very special day for this community. Children ran workshops and supported each other, parents stepped forward and played the role of the expert, while others workshops were run by the staff. But key was that every activity was celebrated the Treaty and its partnership. It made me proud and

Sitting back watching the highlights of the news later on, the bigger picture was a whole lot clearer. I've often been frustrated by the news at Waitangi Day, protests and political statements are all I have known as a New Zealander on this day. I partially blame the media but how much of the blame should be on our shoulders? The Hobsonville Point School Waitangi Celebrations were in the true spirit of partnership, many people working together as one to achieve a common aim. We celebrated the Treaty, our biculturalism, our learners.

This is the first Waitangi Day that I will remember for the right reasons.

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