WelCom August 2021
Around 240 teachers, leaders and support staff from the 13 Catholic primary and secondary schools across the centre of Wellington came together at St Patrick’s College, Kilbirnie, on Friday 9 July, for a mid-winter hui, themed: ‘Feeling Good and Functioning Well in our New Normal’.
Wellington Catholic Schools network – ‘Kāhui Ako’ – organised the hui, which was structured around two keynote speakers Dr Ann Milne MNZM and Mr Paul Ferris QSM, as well as a series of workshops. The workshops, held by education specialists in various fields, looked at effective motivation of management, reacting to crisis, resilience and wellbeing in young people, and ways to support children’s learning and well-being.
Kāhui Ako co-leader Mary-Angela Tombs, Tumuaki – Principal of St Teresa’s School, Karori, said the hui provided a collective opportunity to focus on culturally sustaining teaching and learning, wellbeing or ‘being well to learn’, agency and transitions in a time of change. ‘And, it was great day for making new connections and sharing ideas,’ she said.
Dr Ann Milne spoke about the need to develop a critical, culturally sustaining learning approach centred on students’ identities and challenged the group to move beyond thinking from within a ‘white space’ in educational practice.
Paul Ferris compared past teaching practices and values to today’s education models. He challenged everyone ‘to do less harm’. Instead, he said, ‘Let’s do more good and enable students to build relationships and trust so they can become the person they are meant to be. We need a human connection in education, and we have to make life’s success stories be part of an individual’s school-experience story through the Holy Spirit’s faith base.’