Sunday, 28 June 2015

Ua usiusi faʻavaʻasavili. To obey like a canoe before the wind.

Full Definition of OBEY
transitive verb
1: to follow the commands or guidance of
2: to conform to or comply with <obey an order> <falling objects obey the laws of physics

"She/he just doesn't listen...others children do but this one"...if we want to be frank...'they don't obey'.   This can often be said when experiencing the student who is not 'doing what they're told'.
You stop, take a second and a third look - what is it really that's causing this student to not 'obey'. Let's look at it differently - solo taxonomy for ourselves
- to say does not obey/listen/follow/do what I say...
is a stand alone idea we may have which lands us and our strategic thinking at 'Uni-structural or Multistructural' levels.  Not good enough for a teacher is it?

Let's look at it a different way -  a good teacher would - what am 'I' doing to cause this outcome...sometimes - time and time again????  

A Samoan proverb ' Ua usiusi fa'avaasavili' can be used in this context.   'To obey like a canoe before the wind'.  We can picture a canoe in the vast sea, at the mercy of the winds, the current and tides.
We can go further and add the weather, oars and skill of the canoeist.   Back to our classroom
- what's in their wind that we individually and collectively contribute to?
- is the environment(wind) one which draws students into wanting to obey and accept your guidance?

The following presentation is an example of what winds have contributed to the directions a canoe has travelled so far.  You will see a list of important factors contributing to the wind.  Then you will remember the many students in our care who don't have the same, maybe more or less...This is where our thinking needs to be when dealing with our next 'Difficult/challenging/non-compliant/defiant/disobedient student'...

At the relational level (Whanaungatanga), the aspects are linked and integrated, and contribute to a deeper and more coherent understanding of the whole. At the extended abstract level (Waitara Whanui), the new understanding at the relational level is re-thought at another conceptual level, looked at in a new way, and used as the basis for prediction, generalisation, reflection, or creation of new understanding</i> (Hooked Solo Taxonomy)

This is where I am now challenged to push my thinking and practice when faced with behaviour that varies from the majority of their peer groups.   What is the new way to take?  What is in the winds for this child?   What generalisations can I make?  What can I predict from what I provide?  Is there a contribution to the winds I need to diminish?  Increase?