Values are important. They are our moral code, our guide to how to act when we are not sure how to act. And I'd bet my bottom dollar that every school has a set of values at its heart.
Our Hornby High School values are Commitment, Achievement, Resilience, and Respect, our view of the values that are spelt out in the front of our national curriculum. There is however so much in them that they still require some degree of unpacking. In 2018 I began unpacking resilience and respect with two very simple messages: manaaki and aroha, kindness and love. I rarely miss an opportunity to encourage everyone to use these as their bench marks.
Navigating our way through life is perhaps much like the colossal undertaking that faced Kupe and his crews as they set out to navigate their way across the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean. Their bravery puts European navigation into an interesting context. These brave Polynesian navigators set out to find the land that the signs suggested was there, navigating by the winds, the tides, the signs of bird and fish life, and the pole star.
Navigating life requires our own pole star, our values. This makes our task as whānau and as kura very important because we are perhaps potentially the most powerful influence son ur rangatahi's ability to find their own set of values. Without those values we are lost.
In schools we look for signs that we may be helping our tamariki to develop those values. We watch the way they behave, I watch for signs of kindness and love amongst them, and we have seen those signs very much in abundance over the time since the awful events in Christchurch. At the memorial last week, older students comforted younger students by putting arms around the shoulders of those younger students as they cried.
This week I was presented with another beautiful sign, when a Year 7 boy came to find me with a gift. It was this 'drawing' that he had produced.
In case you can't read the yellow lettering at the bottom, it finishes with the words "A school that loves".