Ko Wai Au? Who Am I?

Room 8’s inquiry was all about tūrangawaewae, where we stand now, where our place of connection is, who we are as people and how we are connected to the places and people that are important to us.

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Students have been reflecting on their own tūrangawaewae – where they come from, places that are special to them, their whānau, and the things that make them who they are. After drafting their mihimihi (introduction) introducing their parents, siblings, grandparents and special animals, we wanted to find a way to express these deep connections visually. Using symbols and warm and cool colours, Room 8 created Tōku Whānau art to represent their whānau.

Warm colours were used in the background to show the warmth that we feel from the love of our whānau and how it surrounds us. The koru starts from the bottom of the circle to show how we are connected to the whenua and our whānau keep us grounded. Cold colours were used in the koru to show contrast and make our family members stand out. The size, position and colour of their loved ones were determined by gender, age and of course their favourite colour.

My mum and dad are really important to me. I know I can always go to them when I need to calm down.

I wanted to show my love for my mum and dad by making them big.

I drew my cousins Locky and Riley as well because I love them as well.

My mum is from Scotland. It is a special place because it is so far away. I have used a lot of yellow to show my love for them.

I have added my cat in as my brother, because he is important to me. His name is Meowla.

Room 8’s tūrangawaewae inquiry built confidence in sharing who we are and making connections with other students in our class. Sharing our mihimihi allowed us to build a sense of belonging and culture in our classroom. Whilst crafting our art, we shared stories of our family members and what makes them so special to us. Sharing core memories about our families, making connections, and building relationships has been an integral part of creating our shared tūrangawaewae, our classroom, a great space to be.

2024 Te Whare

Briana Te Whare

Ko Pirongia te maunga (mountain)

Ko Waipa te awa (river)

Ko Tainui te waka 

Ko Ngati Maniapoto te iwi (tribe)

Ko Te Aharoa te marae

Ko Te Whare tōku whanau (family)

Ko Chris Te Whare tōku papa (dad)

Ko Michelle McEwan tōku mama (mum)

I tupu ake ahau i Tokoroa (I am from Tokoroa)

Ke Taupō koe e noho ana inaianei (I live in Taupō)

When I was 11 I decided that I wanted to become a teacher. Straight after high school I moved to Tauranga to study teaching and straight after university I started my first teaching job in Tokoroa. Most of my teaching journey has been in Tokoroa where I have taught from Year 0 to Year 8. Working in my hometown was an incredible experience as I got to work alongside people that I have grown up with and also alongside my own teachers who inspired me. 

Outside of teaching I love to be outdoors. Walks, going for trips in our makeshift camper and exploring our backyard with my partner fills my bucket.


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