Friday, 8 April 2016
Share - What Does This Mean?
This afternoon we spent time discussing the value of the 'Share' component of Manaiakalani's Learn, Create, Share model. Share mostly relates to sharing of our knowledge, our work, our learning and our creations with our peers, colleagues and community, however this discussion got me thinking about share as much more than that.
To be an effective teacher I believe I need to be an open book, willing to share more than my creations and my work. I need to share everything in my life, especially in the Manaiakalani community.
Students value knowing me. Me as a person, not just me as a teacher. Our Pasifika and Maori students value this considerably, which I knew beginning the job, but now I have my own experiences. Willingness to share my family, my interests, why I teach, what I want to do in the future, encourages barriers to go down. Barriers many of our tamariki have when they first meet someone. Barriers that may effect their learning and the classroom environment. Barriers that are present because they are protective of their school, their learning and their friends.
I have enjoyed the barriers eroding over the past ten weeks and some of them have completely vanished, because I am open and honest with the interest students have in my life and my feelings. What is the point in hiding or not talking about things if a student is interested? Of course, there are times when there may be that one student who oversteps the privacy line - but I just let them know that what they are asking is confidential.
The biggest thing I have taken away from this afternoon, upon reflection, is sharing is not only constrained to creations of learning and our work but much more than that. I want to begin to share my work, and my students' work more, so that we are gifting the world with our creations, but this will take time. I am trying to be realistic that the fairies and rainbows and perfection I want, is a long way away, but chipping away a little bit at a time and taking small steps forward will help get there.
I am busy, I am tired, I am stressed and boy I am looking forward to the holidays. I am more than happy to share that! But for now I need to potter through the final week of term.
Doctor Maya Angelou is one of the most influential voices of our time, an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. I thought her words in the above quote simply expresses how to share, and encouraged me to consider why we teach and give. I am now inspired to read more of her work.