Te Wheke – The Octopus
A representation of wellbeing (hauora) developed by Dr Rangimarie Turaki Rose Pere. Each part important to the whole.
Te whānau – the family
Waiora – total wellbeing for the individual and family (reflected in the eyes)
Wairuatanga – spirituality
Hinengaro – the mind
Taha tinana – physical wellbeing
Whanaungatanga – extended family
Mauri – life force in people and objects
Mana ake – unique identity of individuals and family
Hā a koro ma, a kui ma – breath of life from forbearers
Whatumanawa – the open and healthy expression of emotion
This year I have noticed that I have had to be more responsive to the hauora of my students before they have been able to learn. The make-up of my class is radically different to that of last year and also larger therefore it has taken me longer to get to know each child.
My reflective questions about his are:
With a move towards collaborative learning spaces, how do we ensure that all students have a meaningful relationship with at least one teacher?
What services do we need access to in our schools to assist with the mental wellbeing of a akonga?
Are we addressing the hauora of all of our students in our programmes or just the ones who need extra support?
My blue sky thinking about this would be for hauora to guide all decision making about learning, teaching, strategic planning, regulations etc. That those conversations started with “how will the student feel about this?”, “will this empower the student”, “what does this student need to feel good about themselves?”. I’d also love for us to have better access to psychologists, counsellors, health professionals and other specialists available for our students who do have extra needs in this area. As teachers we are expected to take on so many roles, a lot of which require someone with a different skill set than ourselves.
Back to Te Wheke. Do we as educators have enough of an understanding of what wellbeing is? Can we address it our learning spaces? Can it be acknowledged politically as an essential part of teaching and learning?