All throughout the day today I have found myself humming the Pasifika tunes I learnt over the past two days. I've also found myself mulling over why the hui made such a HUGE impact on me! I thought I'd try and share some of my ideas as to why it was so successful for me, and reflect on the impact for future sessions...
- The programme for the hui was shared with us well before the event. Allowing for those who need to know what is happening in advance, also allowing for us to share any special needs and considerations. Do we always share our plans with those involved?
- We were welcomed and greeted and clothed in team colour lavalava; Anticipation mounted as we were clothed, allowing for an immediate appreciation of another culture. Do we 'clothe' our learners in their experiences?
- We were placed into teams allowing for a collective feeling and collegiality. Do we allow our learners to work in teams?
- We were fully immersed with a traditional Ava Ceremony. We actually experienced the ceremony, then were privileged to delve into meanings and rituals withint the ceremony. Do we bring the REAL experience to our learners or take our learners to the REAL experience whenever possible?
- We learnt and sang new songs. With words up, with opportunity to practice our pronunciation, with the benefit of harmony from those with angel voice boxes. Do we support our learners, scaffold and share the learning?
- We were given time in our team to create a banner to represent our interpretation of a Pasifika term. Ours was feoaki - meaning relationship and relationship building. We were given a multitude of equipment and time to share the collective strengths, talents, and abilities of the team. Interestingly, no-one completed the task within the allocated time, but we all continued and completed over the lunch break! What does this tell us about owner choice over task, completion time?
- We were able to hear the stories of educators from across the Pasifika nations, leading Pasifika academics who are adding to the research that is shaping our educative pathways. How often do we ensure we involve experts in our learning journeys?
- Opportunities to learn and practice new vocabulary was in a supportive, fun way. We were given time to practice then encourage to share. Do we allow our learners time before expecting them to share, perform?
- We were privileged to have the entire morning session without devices. Do we ensure there is time for 'powering down' and relying on face to face?
- We had choice over our selection of 'special interest'. Small group time was allocated for us to delve deeper into an area of interest. This was so well resourced with resources shared across all of the areas. Do we always include elements of choice and make learning rewindable?
- We reflected on the day individually and as a group. Do we always allow time for multiple ways of reflecting?
- We shared meals together. Do we always try to include opportunities for sitting around a table to share - even if it is just a drink and snack, to allow for socialising?
- We were intrigued about elements of day two with the "Amazing Race" Countdown! Do we include elements of surprise and competition when suitable?
- Day two was full immersion in the incredible celebration of Polyfest 2014. Included in this was the Amazing Race with challenges, interviews to record, permissions to gather, photos to take, stages to visit. Not only did this focus us, it allows us to gain a wide range of snapshots and views of the day from student, to performer, to teacher, parent, stallholder, police, politician... With eight teams out gathering snapshots, a HUGE amount of footage was gained in a short space of time. Do we allow educators, team members to gather evidence OFTEN?
- We gathered back together at the conclusion of the two days to share our individual and group reflections and offer our appreciations to the amazing team of Ruta, Manu, Togi, Shannon, Anthony and Teanau. Do we always try to allow for an open sharing and reflection on experiences?
Many of these points I have made I am sure are intrinsic to our practice. However I think we need to constantly reflect on ways to connect with, engage, and inspire our learners. To our leaders for the two days Ruta, Manu, Togi, Shannon, Anthony and Teanau, faafetai tele lava. From my heart and my mind, thank you for the inspiration, the immersion, the celebration, the pure MAGIC of the two days!