Matakite - Foresight
Ka whāia te wāhie mo takurua, ka mahia te kai mō te tau
If you look for firewood in the winter, you will have plenty of food all year round
E te whānau, ngā tumuaki o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou katoa
This week I met with Iona Holstead, our newly appointed Secretary for Education. We discussed Communities of Learning (CoLs), the funding review and the success of the Mā
ori Achievement Collaborations (MACs). It was an open and frank discussion which I appreciated.
We shared some common aspirations especially for tamariki
ori. Iona noted that our tamariki have only the time we've got now to lift their achievement. She was clear that acceleration of learning is essential for many if they are going to succeed in life. That is why having plans in place for accelerating Mā
ori students who need it is an important part of school practice.
We agree with this aspiration and we would go further. We want every child to succeed to the very best of their ability. That is why we want school environments that are emotionally safe, culturally safe and physically safe; places where young people are comfortable and confident enough to express 'who they are' whatever their cultural backgrounds and beliefs.
My challenge to Iona is to look to us, the profession, to engage with us and learn from us. There is no disagreement about what
we want for New Zealand's young people it's how
we achieve it. We know that developing the right school culture is the most important task if we want to see our young people succeed. We have ideas about how to do that well. We know that connecting with and engaging our school community and whānau
is essential if we want on-going success for our young people. We have learned how to do that too. Our profession is overflowing with wisdom, experience, knowledge and innovative ideas on every facet of education and we are more than willing to share these for the benefit of all young people.
It is election year and already the parties are lining up with their political slogans. Do not be surprised when you hear, for example, politicians talking about getting rid of failing teachers and principals and shutting down failing schools, making it sound as if the entire school system is falling apart! Those messages come from the ACT party and their education policy is based on replacing public schools with publicly funded private charter schools. Their major mission is therefore about finding fault with the current system. Tomorrow it will be another party selling you their slogans which might be quite different!
Amidst all of this just stay focused on your young people and continue with what you know is best for them and their future.
Every day you make a difference to young people's lives across the country and never forget that! You do an awesome job! Ngā mihi ki a koutou!
Haere tonu e hoa mā.