From The Principal

Tena koutou katoa. Nga mihi nui atawhai.

Finger puppets – that’s what I made this morning (Tuesday, 7 September). That was my online learning today. It was one of the many Atawhai activities that our students have put together to keep all of our learners engaged. There were about 57 learners logged into this session – and I wasn’t the only teacher that was there.

Today’s other options were Human Rights – While we watch the news and research all the recent information, it is important to recognise the role that journalism plays in our human rights, and what violations can occur when that news is fake; Asian Club – Get to know Asian culture from Asians themselves. Get to know the different sides of Asian culture and what we love most about them. From India to Indonesia to the Philippines and more! Get to know us at the roots!

For the rest of the week, there’s Book Club (making origami book marks), Zonta and SAVE Club offering baking options, Young Vinnies (making gratitude trees), Astronomy (galaxy painting), photography (painting a sunset demo) and Kpop (learning a Kpop dance). Wow, what a selection.

These are our students engaging our students – students taking the time to offer their ideas and suggestions about activities that create connection – and even develop some skills.

It is important to keep these social connections for our students, to give them the opportunities to meet, even if it is virtually, with others and share. There were some pretty amazing creations being made today in the finger puppet session, and it was great to see on screen how others were working to make these, and to ask questions if they couldn’t work out how to attach the faces on the puppet. The students leading this were so patient and engaging in their demonstrations.

Connection is very important in this disconnected world. On Health Navigator NZ, there are Top 10 Tips for staying healthy while in self-isolation. Two of these are:

4. Stay in touch: A lack of face to face contact with others is tough. However, there are lots of other ways to stay in touch. Pick up the phone, video call friends or family and stay in touch online. Start an online neighbourhood group to keep an eye on each other. You could also throw a virtual party where a group gets together online and connects that way. There are also lots of resources and ideas on the internet to keep you occupied and connected.

6. Have fun: If you’ve suddenly find yourself with time on your hands, remember to do something you enjoy. Watch a movie, do some puzzles, play some board games, write that novel, read, redecorate, play charades, start to learn a language or do anything else that will put a smile on your face.

So, I’m off to enrol in the origami making session tomorrow.