We are almost there – the end of the school year is in sight, hurtling towards us at an odd pace that is both too fast and can’t come soon enough. For many, this term has been a short one with schools coming together after long lockdown breaks and for many this has been a disrupted term as schools adjusted to a new covid normal. The workload hasn’t gotten smaller, just the time to complete it. Both kids and teachers have shown amazing resilience as they pivot in an ever-changing environment with expectations of them changing at an unprecedented rate.
We have all definitely earned some fun this year; some time to rest, recharge and fill our cups as well as the cups of those we love. A few of my friends have admitted to putting up their Christmas trees in mid-November, an early start to festivities and a symbol of putting 2021 behind us. But for me the true sign the year is almost over is when the Christmas craft starts coming home with the kids. I love seeing what they have made and how proud they are to add their newly-made treasures to the tree. It feels like every time I look at the tree, someone has moved their carefully crafted beauty front and centre, a silent tussle for the prime position, where his work cannot be missed.
This year the Wingaru team have worked with two amazing Aboriginal artists – Dunghutti artist Aunty Cynthia Younie, and Marlee Webb, an emerging Darug artist – to bring you some new Christmas crafts for you to share with your class. This year we are excited to add gorgeous gift boxes and tree decorations to our growing collection of Christmas resources. If you are looking for something to put into the gift boxes, check out last year’s wattleseed shortbread recipe – who wouldn’t love to receive a gorgeous box of tiny treats!
I have shared a couple of activities below and Wingaru Kids subscribers will find more Christmas crafts in the ‘Teacher Resources’ section of the dashboard.
I hope you get the chance to stop and look around in these last busy weeks. To enjoy the laughter and chatter of the kids in your class and find a moment to join them as they colour, cut and create, eager to get their stories out and to hear the stories of those around them.
I’d love to see your class’s creations so please share them!
Our free Aboriginal craft activities for Christmas - Download from link below
I can’t believe how fast this year has gone! I feel like I blinked and now we are getting ready to roll out the Christmas activities! As well as classrooms full of Christmas crafts (we have some deadly ones coming so keep an eye out!) the end of term 4 is a time that many families like to give their classroom teacher a small gift.
Teachers don’t expect gifts but a small token of appreciation can brighten someone’s day. As parents, it is something we do each year to say thank you for all the hard work in supporting us throughout the school year and my boys love choosing the gifts for their teachers.
This year so many small businesses have been impacted by Covid-related restrictions that we are trying to shop small where possible. Giving back to the community we are part of is important to us and supporting small business is such an easy way to give back. Supporting Aboriginal businesses is something we do all year round and there are so many deadly offerings that are perfect for teacher gifts.
If you are buying teacher gifts this year, I encourage you to check out the many gorgeous gifts that First Nations business are offering. Here are a five of my favourite things for gifting this year:
Last week I sat down for a yarn with the host of WinewithTeacher podcast, Ceri. It was a follow-up to the article about Wingaru and our philosophy that was included in issue 10 of Wine with Teacher magazine which focuses on elevating Aboriginal voices in the education space.
Ceri is one of those people that is always so amazing to have a yarn with. She is so enthusiastic, knowledgeable and open to hearing what other people have to say that you instantly feel at ease and the conversation just flows. It was such a great experience and as I reflect on the being part of the Wine with Teacher community, I realise that the experience wasn’t great just because I think Ceri is deadly. It was great because Ceri is an amazing ally and advocate for Aboriginal education. She has worked with mob to create genuine space for Aboriginal voices in the education space and openly given her platforms to amplify our voices and support us in our work to advocate for strong Aboriginal education approaches that are First-Nations led. The Wine with Teacher community is full of amazing teachers who are actively supporting other teachers, sharing knowledge and open to learning.
Great allies, like Ceri and so many of the amazing teachers I get to work with each day, are so important as we embrace initiatives that strengthen Aboriginal education in this country. Often when I speak with teachers, they are unsure of where they fit in Aboriginal education. They ask about the role they should take and how they can be an ally and make an impact in an authentic and culturally appropriate way. The fact they ask the question is in itself a strong start – genuine listening and consultation with First Nations communities is an important part of being a strong ally.
I have thought a lot about the strong allies that I have been getting to know in the teaching world and they all have a few things in common.
Being an advocate and ally looks different for everyone but embracing these 3 attributes or behaviours will ensure you are supporting change and having positive impact.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.