HE KAIARATAKI – ADVOCATE

“HE KAIARATAKI – ADVOCATE Kaua e rangiruatia te häpai o te hoe; e kore tö tätou waka e ü ki uta

promoting the development and implementation of strategies, plans and policies to realise learners’ potential and their educational success as Mäori

The kaiarataki leadership role emphasises the importance of strategic leadership in Mäori medium education. Strategic planning and goal setting are important at all levels, from governance bodies through to principals, teachers and school support staff. Strategic plans provide direction for development, and offer a blueprint against which day-to-day operations can be charted and matched against progress. Achieving the ideal plan for a kura requires good leadership, management and the coordination of people and resources. This form of leadership is about leading the process of strategic planning and annual goals to shape implementation, practice and success.”

The oxford dictionary defines advocate as “a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy”.

At the start of 2014 our middle leaders were undertaking some professional learning with Greg Jansen, and we were asked to come up with three words that described ourselves.  One of the words that I used to describe myself was bold, but in feeding back to my group one of my colleagues said that she would use the word courageous.  She went on to explain that she admired the way that I was not afraid to speak up, or to advocate for people.  Another colleague this past week said “You are always ready to push the envelope and challenge status quo.”  I have also had feedback from students who value the way we teach and encourage critical thinking in the HPE department.  We actively encourage students to challenge assumptions and we role model this in our own professional practice.

I will always advocate for anything that enables effective teaching and learning, and argue against anything that detracts from our being able to go about our core business.  What do my team need in order to be ‘an exceptional teacher’ (He Kaiako)? What do my learners need in order to be the best they can be and achieve the best outcomes for future success?

This role of he kaiarataki cannot be separated from that of he kanohi matara – visionary.  Once a shared vision has been identified it is the role of he kaiarataki to lead the development of road map so that everyone can see where we are heading and how we might get there.  This is about leading a process, it is not about coming up with a vision and a plan on my own and saying ‘here this is what we are all going to do’; it must be a shared vision, and collectively we must develop a plan for how we are going to achieve our vision, and then identify our roles in implementing the plan.  Part of the process will be about making mistakes – failing; but then learning from those mistakes and moving on.

This is my final blog for Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori.  I issued myself a wero to complete a reflection on each of the seven key roles of leadership from Tū Rangatira.  I do feel that in trying to achieve this in the timeframe that I have been somewhat superficial in my reflections and I look forward to revisiting them in more depth over coming weeks.  Thank you to everyone who have taken the time to read my posts, and a huge thank you to those of you who have joined me this week in writing your own blog posts.

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

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