Rotorua Education Network – “Famil”

In November this year I attended the Rotorua Education Network famil. This was a 2 day PD that involved meeting with and experiencing tourism in Rotorua. During the 2 days we went to agrodome, te puia, we also went white water rafting on the skyline to agrodome adventrues, on the ogo and to tamaki village for a cultural experience. This was a pretty awesome PD to be attending a aside from being a whole lot of fun it was beneficial to my teaching practice for several reasons;

  • This year was my first year taking my Year 13 geography class to Rotorua as part of their research assessment and external (cultural proccesses). I booked on line through the Rotorua Education Network but didn’t really know what to expect or what was on offer. The famil, showcased a whole lot of tourist providers and what they could offer school groups – including links to particular standards. I now have some ideas for next time and may be a bit more adventurous in the activities I book. This year I was viewing the trip purely from an assessment driven perspective and not looking at the bigger picture in terms of cultural experiences, fun outside of the classroom.
  • This trip provided me with a useful networking experience with about 20 geography teachers from around the country attending we spent a lot of time talking about the various programs and courses we offered which was useful to my planning and reviewing of the level 3 program.

I am now looking forward to creating a more engaging and holistic fieldtrip in 2018!

Level 3 field trip to Rotorua – some reflections

In August, 2017 I took my Level 3 Geography class to Rotorua for a 3 day field trip. Over the 3 days we did a range of activities including, Te Puia, Skyline, Rotorua Museum, The Buried Village, Agrodome and Tamaki Maori Village.

What was particularly interesting to me about this trip is the way students responded to the cultural contexts. I noticed the moment we arrived in Rotorua students were greeting everyone they encountered with “Kia ora”. On the first night we were there we went to Tamaki Maori Village this involved a tour and short lessons on traditional Maori culture (pre-european contact), a concert and a hangi dinner. The whole experience was awesome but as I looked around at the visitors (5 tour buses in one sitting) I couldn’t help but think about the consumption of culture and wondered how Maori students (or visitors) would interpret this.


I decided to ask several Maori students in the class they assured me this was not the case. As one student explained:

I loved every minute of it miss, it made me feel like my culture was valued and people were actually interested in it. You don’t get that in Auckland cos Maori culture gets lumped in with other Pacific cultures but here I feel proud to be Maori!

These students also explained how much they loved visiting Te Puia and I realised how valuable this trip was for some students in terms of valuing and appreciating their own culture. This is something I need to consider in my planning for the next trip. Perhaps more time at Te Puia (they offer weaving workshops and hangi lunch for school groups).