Tracie Pile, from the 2015 cohort, reflects on her first year of teaching Te Reo at James Cook High School.
How does one reflect on their first year of teaching in a few paragraphs? Well, I guess to put it simply nearing the end of term 4 “Kāore anō au kia toromi” – “I haven’t yet drowned”. It has been the most challenging year of my life where for the most part of this year, I have felt like I was drowning in planning, assignments, curriculum, teaching pedagogy, connection with my tauira, behavior management, school systems, reports, marking and lots of worrying. Coming through the Teach First NZ leadership development programme where you are learning to teach on the job and concurrently doing postgrad studies has meant that both time and energy were, I thought, my most precious commodities. On reflection, it has been my whānau, Te Wāhanga Māori o Puutake and my Teach First NZ whānau that have been my most valued and precious resources.
I mistakenly thought I was coming here to teach kids and give back to the community that helped shaped the person I am. But as I end this year, I know I have learnt far more from my tauira than I have taught them, and I am grateful and all the more richer for it. Am I exhausted? Absolutely. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Do I see myself teaching as a long term career? Without a doubt.
Nō reira, e kore e mutu te aroha ki a koutou ngā manukura, nā koutou ahau i hikina, i poipoi ai i taku tīmatanga ki tēnei mahi whakahirahira. Mai kore ake ko koutou, e kore e taea te tutuki tēnei wawata nōku. Tēnā, ko ngā kupu poroporoaki ki ngā mate huhua o te wā, o te marama, o te tau. E kore e taka te parapara a ngā tīpuna, tukua iho ki ngā mokopuna. (Our mokopuna cannot fail to inherit the talents of their ancestors). Koia rā, hei kupu whakamutunga māku: Unuhia te rito o te harakeke, kei hea te kōmako e kō? Ui mai ki ahau, ‘He aha te mea nui o te Ao? Māku e kī atu, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
Nāku iti nei, Tracie Pile.