The “Planning with Wingaru and Mr J Challenge” was a big focus for the Wingaru team in term 4 and I could not be happier with how it went.
The Challenge encouraged teachers to include an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander perspective each week for term 4. That meant 10 opportunities for students to explore the fascinating cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to embed that knowledge within their understanding of Australian history.
We wanted to show how accessible Aboriginal perspectives can be and support teachers to refine their approach and take away some of the hesitation that many teachers feel when it comes to including First Nations content in the classroom.
We teamed up with the brilliant Mr J from Mr J’s Classroom (check his work out here). He agreed to share his journey as a non-Aboriginal teacher tackling the Challenge to increase Aboriginal content in his classroom. Mr J was so generous with his time and self in sharing his journey to refine his personal approaches to Aboriginal education and I know there are so many teachers who benefited from Mr J’s regular updates, tips and learnings.
The Challenge is something I have been thinking about for a while now. I talk to so many teachers who feel that Aboriginal perspectives are out of reach and I want to change that perception. By encouraging teachers to include content more often by aligning it with units of work they are already delivering, I believe we can have a huge impact on the collective knowledge Australians have about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and our cultures.
We saw so many deadly teachers sharing how they were including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in their classrooms and supporting each other as they took on the challenge of increasing the amount of First Nations content that they included.
So many ideas were shared about ways to include perspectives in busy classrooms and I loved how many teachers I spoke to that said the Challenge had made them rethink how they do Aboriginal content and how they will continue to focus on including more. That’s what it was all about.
I also spoke to a number of teachers who said the Challenge gave them confidence in the approaches they were already taking. Sometimes we just need that little bit of reassurance to give us confidence in our actions.
I want to take this opportunity to thank every teacher who participated. I know stepping out of your comfort zone is not easy and changing the way you work can be hard, particularly when you are in charge of a busy classroom.
We offered three chances to win a 12-month Wingaru Kids subscription for schools participating in the Challenge. The winners of these subscriptions are:
For signing up to the Challenge:
Congratulations Jessica Malu!
For sharing their planner on social media:
For sharing their weekly intention on social media:
We look forward to welcoming your schools to the Wingaru Kids mob.
While the Challenge is over, the planners are still available to download HERE if you would like to plan your First Nation inclusions for next year.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.