Poroporoaki- the ancient tradition of saying goodbye

Every vacation passed and I felt that I missed something very important. Various attempts to trace the element failed. I often felt my teaching lacked a special touch. It was only a few years ago that I figured out the actual missing element that gave me a contendness of being a teacher and a guide. It was then when I realized that there were many things left undone and many communications that were left unspoken between me and mu past students.  A deep wave of concern and regret swept my mind as I had not completed a few classroom projects nor I ever found any quality time to connect to the students nor ever had the opportunity to speak a few kind words with my students though they were in  the final term. Then somehow I came across the experience that changed the essence of my confused state of mind.  This was basically a Maori tradition called Poroporoaki where people gathered together to bid goodbye (farewell ceremony) before the completion of their Hui.  It was an experience of lifetime that changed my entire perspective towards winding up my classes at the end of every academic term.

Poroporoaki is a gathering where people talk to everyone and share everything that they wanted to express. So everyone clears their psychological framework by completing their expression and move ahead in life.

In the context of the classroom, it is the time when the entire class shares their experiences; celebrate their victories and challenges they faced. Every student in the class can share personal and collective achievements and struggles. Teachers can use this opportunity to acknowledge the students in an affectionate way and discuss their strengths, weaknesses and future perspectives and challenges. It is a gathering filled with gratitude, reflection, empowerment, moments to cherish.

You can organize this gathering in the last week of the school. I design the desk arrangement in the class and induce all the students to actively participate in the gathering. Students love to play games and I organize activities that can help the students to open up their minds within a prespecified time frame. Every student has something to talk about or share and this serves as an excellent platform.  Often students share some beautiful experiences that have moved me to tears. Then is the time for snacks and the soft drinks that the children love the most.  I conclude the gathering by sharing all that you wish to speak about the class and the students. This gathering lasts for about 2 hours and I’m extremely happy for sharing everything that I always wished to share. You will also have a peace of mind wrapped within the cover of a priceless experience.

This entry was posted in Teacher's Corner and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.