Waratah Taogaga - Cultural Director and Teacher
The Master of Education Practice gave Waratah the skills to reflect on her pedagogy and identify factors she can change for the betterment of all students.
“My Māori culture has been my backbone in life. I grew up in a mainstream school, lost in a system that didn’t support my learning style – but I was surrounded by many incredible teachers in my whānau and iwi. I became a teacher to make a difference for our Māori tamariki in mainstream school settings – I want them to succeed and reach their potential in all areas of school.
“I enrolled in the Master of Education Practice to enhance my skills and be an example to my students; I wanted to demonstrate the Maori success is not limited to anything. The University of Auckland has an outstanding School of Māori and Indigenous Education, Te Puna Wānanga, and all of my peers have been really supportive.
“I focused my studies on cultural responsiveness, an area that I think is lacking in Aotearoa schools. We live in such a diverse world and, as educators, we need to understand our learners and their whānau to maximise engagement and utilise potential. Thanks to the flexible programme structure, I was able to dedicate myself to both work and study at the same time, and do justice to both.
I’m the best teacher I have ever been since attaining my Master of Education
“The course content was extremely relevant, and I use the skills that I developed during the programme on a daily basis. I now reflect more deeply on my pedagogy and can identify key factors of education that I can change for the betterment of all students. My classroom practice has become more articulate and successful, and I am even more inspired to go further with my studies now.
“Education is a forever-evolving part of society. This study journey allowed me to dive into the past and analyse the present, in order to prepare for the future in a way that is meaningful for myself, my students, their whānau and communities."