Te reo Māori is one of our national languages in New Zealand so it is important to pay attention to it and the meaning and culture behind the words.
Just how do we do this? By actively participating in it and drawing it increasingly into everyday life, everywhere.
A proverb closely associated with language revitalization, which is very important in maintaining culture.
At the beginning, Principal Paula Farquhar, wanted staff to become more confident in understanding and using te reo Māori phrases. The plan was to translate phrases that were used in everyday teaching into te reo Māori and encourage the use of them. The normalisation of te reo Māori in the learning environment is reliant on teachers' uptake and to do this we needed to strengthen our skills and knowledge. We needed to move beyond colours, numbers, and greetings.
The first step was to introduce a new phrase each week for teachers to practise with their class. With the beginning of the summer term it was obvious that kuhuna tō pōtae (put your hat on) would be used regularly. I have even had students directing this particular phrase towards me in the playground.
Feedback from teachers has been positive. It’s been great seeing how each teacher has used the resource that was made and shared, in their classroom.
Learning te reo Māori helps students and teachers grow as learners. They discover more ways of learning, more ways of knowing, and more about their own capabilities. The Māori language is an important part of New Zealand’s culture, history, and identity.