Missed opportunities for engaging Māori and Pasifika students

Where should I sit? Maybe I should just sit
at the front this semester. But what if the lecturer asks me a question? You know what, never mind maybe next lecture. Um, I’d really like to do a pepeha
but I can’t believe I can do it. I don’t really know what to say. I’m not sure who to ask
actually about it. I could put some content in, some of these comics, but
I’m worried that’s just some kind of tokenism. I’m really not sure what to do here. Oh this looks interesting I think I
might actually enjoy this paper. I don’t see any Māori and Pacific content though.
I wonder why that is? Right, if I’m gonna do a class in the marae,
this must be the place to come to but I don’t know who to talk to and … it seems a bit presumptuous just to walk
down here and think I can walk into the marae. Not really sure what to do
now. Actually this is this is feeling quite awkward so I think I’ll just go. Oh man, this assignment is due soon and I
still don’t understand this question. Maybe if I go by the lecturer’s office
they could help me out. Just go in and ask for help. What if I still don’t understand
and ask too many questions? You know what? Never mind I’ll just ask in Piazza. Oh there she is. I know she wants to speak to me.
I should go and talk to her now but I’m worried about mispronouncing
her name and offending her. I’m not even sure it’s appropriate,
I’ll probably just freak her out. Do you know how many people don’t reach their full potential because they miss opportunities like these? No doubt it’s far too many but as lecturers
and students we can change that. In order to change us we must stop asking “what if?”
and start saying “I will.” I will introduce the principles of “ako” into my classes
and I will definitely do a pepeha. I will have the confidence to sit in the front. I will ensure my classes are open and that the space is comfortable for all students. If I have questions I will take the initiative to ask them. And I will make sure everybody in my class
gets the opportunity to speak. If it would help for me to see my
lecturer I will go to office hours. And if it helps my students
I’ll look for different spaces and different times in which we can talk
more informally. If I have something to say I will believe in myself
and speak up in tutorials and lectures. I will make sure that if there any cultural issues
are impacting on my classes that I will do my best to deal with them and make
the space as open as possible. These are barriers we can overcome so
that we all can reach our full potential as educators and students. Thank You Natasha for helping me with this kaupapa.

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