The tamariki in Te Whanau Awhina have always been treated as equals to the teachers. Our relationship with the Tamariki allows them to be fiercely independent, responsible and take initiative. Our routine here in TWA is we do some songs before lunch and then after lunch the Tamariki are encouraged and invited to find their bed (they do this by photo and name on their sleep bags). Some of the tamariki who no longer have sleeps take on a supportive role with the sleeping tamariki. someone will turn off the light in the main room and others will grab a book or a soft toy for the sleepers to help settle them in. As you can see from the photos that the Tamariki are very comfortable with each other and there is a lot of trust. The tamariki going to sleep will happily lie down on their beds and have another tamariki help settle them alongside a teacher.
This is so heart warming for us to see! It shows the close bond the tamariki have with each other. It also shows that the tamariki feel comfortable in the environment to take the initiative and respond to the needs of others and know that the teachers will embrace this. The Tamariki are getting the opportunity to develop a sense of identity and that they are part of our TWA Kids Count community. Everyone has a place and role.