I am a class teacher for Year Four and five students and a team leader for the middle school. My class and I are a part of the Manaiakalani Google ClassOnAir.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Strengthening Whanau Engagement

One of our goals this year is to ' Explore strategies to strengthen whanau engagement'.
I was listening to 'Anjila Dixon' the lady from the Ministry at one of our staff meetings who was talking about the importance of whanau engagement. I want kid's whanau to be a part of their learning and they are always welcome.  But how and what would be the most appropriate way to get them into school? This question has been on my mind for a few weeks now!

It is my Mother's birthday today who lives in India. I was getting ready for the day at school and in between I had to ring her up and wish her as I was mindful of the time difference between the two countries. After roll I told my class that I needed two minutes to wish my mum. They smiled back at me and then one voice called out " Can we wish her too"?
How wonderful was that! After all " If you want a friend, first you need to be a friend".  If I wanted their parents to come into the class and engage in learning I first needed to introduce them to my Mother! What an opportunity!

I video called my mum and my whole class sang 'Happy Birthday' for her. She was so delighted! She thanked them, wished them to do well in their learning, she inquired about a student with a cast on her leg and the student told her story about how she fell from the tree, she wished her well and then she turned to me and asked me to get chocolates for each student in my class. Through out the conversation there were heaps of giggles and laughters. It was such a lovely whanau feeling!

It is this togetherness, sharing and celebrating of moments that brings us together! Introducing my mum to my class immediately established a bonding between me and my students who are two days old in my class. Hopefully, I have broken the ice and my students will feel equally comfortable introducing their whanau to me! My aim is to make our parents feel valued at school where they willingly share ideas and expertise in the learning of their children.

Later in the day I got hot chips and chocolate fudge for my students to celebrate mum's birthday.


  1. What a lovely idea Archana. I love the way you modelled connecting to whānau by including your own whānau celebration. Which STP would this connect to in your labels?

    1. Thanks Dorothy for taking time to go through my post! It was an idea that had just struck me at that moment and yes, it did connect me and my students in a more real way! And yes, I have update my labels too!

  2. I love this, I can just imagine all your students ringing India to wish your mum a happy birthday. What brings people together is family and sharing. You will know your students in a different ways through this experience and they know more about who you are and your family. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    1. Thank you Vera, yes my class knows a lot more about me. They keep connecting to my family by asking lots of questions on a regular basis and I love it!