Teacher Practice: our commonalities and key points.
As kaiako, we offer a diversity of teaching styles which together weaves a whāriki of best practice that places the child at the centre of all our work here. We acknowledge that we are but part of a wider learning community and seek to work collaboratively with whānau and families.
We believe that tamariki learn best when they are happy, secure and knowing they have a place here. Thus the types of relationships (self, others, daily life, nature etc) we as teachers engage in is critical.
We are committed to authentic bi-cultural practice that grows from both recognition and respect for both Te tiriti o Waitangi and our early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki
. This is expressed through our values, our environment, and our celebration of te reo and waiata.
Our environment is intentional and designed to foster optimal development: aesthetically pleasing, welcoming, inviting and safe; where all the senses are engaged to foster curiosity, wonder and an ever-challenging learning journey. Our daily rhythms and rituals help children understand their place in natures cycles as well as framing their day and providing emotional stability.
Knowing that children learn through imitation, teachers engage in purposeful work to model participation in community life: we garden, bake, repair, create, nurture, care, listen, laugh and play.
We believe that play is the ideal place for learning when child-initiated and self-directed – we strive to create rich opportunities that encourage, empower, and allow children to use their strengths to enrich their learning. We believe open-ended resources like sticks, stones, ropes, timber, balls etc offer more possibilities for exploration, manipulation and problem-solving than toys with pre-determined outcomes.
We teach with intent – in responding to children's learning needs we seek to expand children's knowledge, skills and learning dispositions by utilising strategies such collaboration, mentoring, guided participation, observation and reflection. The Project Approach allows us to respond to children's questions in ways that engage them in reaching intellectual goals that involves learning in all the curriculum areas.
“Quality teaching does involve a subtle form of help, a response that is leading but not pushing, a response that is suggestive, but not final, a response that is descriptive but not necessarily directive.”
Wendy Schiller, 2004