Breakout Session 6 - 17th September at 2:00 - 2:40

Strengthening my leadership through my cultural journey to understand Mātauranga Māori and sharing Te Maramataka practices in ECE

Presenter/s: Jenna Stone
Type: Leadership story
Keywords: shared leadership, understanding and learning
Room: Ngā Purapura

Abstract

In 2021, my journey into Māori Languages and Pedagogies commenced under the guidance of Aumiri Pounamu at the University of Canterbury. Subsequently, inspired by this knowledge, our team began incorporating elements of Māori learning into our environment. Central to this addition is the concept of Mātauranga Māori, which embodies a Māori approach to existence and interaction with the world. At its core, it utilises kawa (cultural protocols) and tikanga (customary practices) to examine, evaluate, and comprehend the world around us. Mātauranga Māori offers diverse perspectives on knowledge acquisition and understanding.

As a leader within our team, I’ve embraced the role of both learner and teacher, recognizing that by sharing knowledge, we all grow together. I actively engage in ongoing learning, seeking feedback from my team and mentors, and continuously reflect on my practices to ensure alignment with Māori principles and values. This collaborative approach not only strengthens my own leadership skills but also fosters a sense of community and shared purpose within our team. This session will provide a glimpse into our journey of incorporating Te Maramataka – The Māori Lunar Calendar – into our daily routines and the planning of our kindergarten’s philosophy and everyday practices.

Biography

Jenna Stone

Kia Ora! I’m Jenna, and I’ve been immersed in the word of Early Childhood Education (ECE) for over two decades. For the past 9 ½ years. I’ve had the priviledge of being of the vibrant community at Kidsfirst Kindergartens Association, where I’ve contributed my passion and expertise to nurturing young minds.

Within Kidsfirst, my journey has been particularly rewarding at Vickery Street, where I’ve spent a total of 9 years. During my time there, I’ve had the honour of serving as the Kaiako Matua for 5 years, a role that has allowed me to truly make a meaningful impact on the lives of both tamariki and colleagues.

My approach to teaching is infused with energy and enthusiasm, rooted in the principle of manaakitanga towards the tamariki, their whānau and my colleagues I work with. I believe in nurturing their sense of ūkaipōtanga and fostering strong bonds of whanaungatanga in a positive and uplifting manner. Every interaction in the classroom is an opportunity to empower and inspire, creating a supportive environment where people can flourish and thrive. Outside of work I cherish time with whānau and friends, immersing myself in our shared experiences and creating lasting memories together.