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The Gifted and Talented Coordinator shares her story about how her involvement with the Pasifika Achievement Coordinator in the Digi Advisor project. The Digi Advisor project helped affirm what Pasifika initiatives the school already had in place to support their Pasifika learners.
Today we’re doing our video diary, I guess, and that’s a reflective tool, which has made me think about what we have achieved so far. So we’ve been working with Manu, Stephanie and I, about how, kind of to enhance our understanding about the Pasifika students at our school. So what we’ve done is we have surveyed the students and we’ve also surveyed their parents to try and understand their notions of giftedness from a Pasifika point of view. And so we’re hoping that will help us to understand the learner better, and therefore, meet their needs. And we’re hoping to understand what values, what Pasifika value, to acknowledge the knowledge that they value, as well, so that we can meet their needs and to really extend students and to help connect with them.
I think the experience that Stephanie and I have gone through, it’s helped us understand the learner, and I think all teachers would benefit from that because we’ve got a student-centred pedagogy, and it helps us to understand where the kids are coming from to provide context which they can connect to, and I think from that students can achieve more highly and to express what they do, know, and understand and to show us what they can do.
Going through this process I’ve found it’s made me more confident to continue engaging with the community. So it’s been really beneficial getting the parents on board, and getting the student voice and that’s something we want to build on. And one thing I also found out was the things that were already happening. So things like the Pasifika Homework Centre, and getting the tutors in to help with Samoan language. So for me, as the gifted and talented coordinator, it’s about acknowledging what is already there and what we can build on. One of the highlights really is getting that voice from the kids and the parents and building that community and for us understanding what’s happening and what needs to happen, again so that the kids can have that more authentic learning experience.