A project to support primary school teachers with a rich, arts-based set of resources when they return to school next week has been developed by a team at the University of Auckland.
Led by Professor Peter O’Connor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, Te Rito Toi provides detailed lesson plans and classroom activities designed specifically for the changed environment teachers and students now face.
“The resources, which can all be found on one website, are based on years of experience by University of Auckland researchers who have worked in schools post-disaster. They are recommending teachers use an arts and wellbeing approach to engage children with the changed classroom environment,” says Professor O’Connor.
NZEI Te Riu Roa President Liam Rutherford says "Educators have a huge role to play in helping tamariki navigate the uncertainty and stress of the Covid-19 crisis over the coming months. These beautiful resources will be really valuable in supporting that work."
“We know these anxious times have had a deep impact on many children, and these quality curriculum resources will provide teachers with the confidence to safely navigate the issues and concerns that will tumble into classrooms next week.”
The lesson plans include a poetry lesson by former Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala-Marsh, a unit on dealing with anxiety supported by the John Kirwan Foundation and Māori arts resources curated by a bicultural team based in Wellington.
The University of Auckland has partnered with the New Zealand Principals’ Federation, the New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa (NZEI) and the Sir John Kirwan Foundation to make sure that as many teachers as possible are aware of the resource, which has gone live Friday, 24 April on www.teritotoi.org.