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Insights from the staffroom: Be the light in the dark

Whanaungatanga, Term 2, Week 3, Staff Meeting 3: 

Clutching a strip of five superheroes:

– atawhai (kindness)

– koa (joy)

– toa (courage)

– manawaroa (resilience)

– whakaute (respect)

…we were invited to give one card to ourselves and each wrote our name on it.

What an interesting provocation. Which card would you have given yourself?

After deliberating this, the challenge progressed. We were then invited to assign a new card to someone else in the room.

On gifting the second superhero card, we were also instructed to follow it up with a kōrero about why we had seen that colleague as a hero to us, and why we had given them that particular superpower.

Teachers being encouraged to look at their colleagues for inspiration; teachers being each other’s role models – the excitement was palpable.

Between the whispers, awkward smiles, giggles and joy, tears began welling in my eyes as I captured the voices around me. The voices were sincere, the messages concrete. Some became role models; others became sweet talkers. Emotions choked me, as I discreetly dried my eyes and swallowed down the lump in my throat.

Moving on, the rest of the staff meeting contained messages of collective efficacy and hope.

On reflection, it made me realise how important it is to affirm each other. It made me realise the power of our words in lifting people up. It made me realise in the challenges that have passed, just maybe we have forgotten the joy we can bring to each other by celebrating each other’s strengths.

We have been so busy being role models for our students – wishing to motivate them, keeping them safe, and imparting our knowledge – we haven’t had time to think about the personal qualities of the very people around us whom we can relate to. The very people who have shared these tough experiences with us, the very people who have similar stories.

I wanted to share this moment with you.

I want you to take turns to be someone else’s light.

I want you to pause and celebrate each other’s strengths – time to create our own stories full of optimism and warmth.

By educator and writer, Rebecca Thomas

School News

School News is not affiliated with any government agency, body or political party. We are an independently owned, family-operated magazine.

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