As a young boy I used to go fishing with my Dad in the Manukau Harbour. Dad owned a small boat with an 85 horsepower outboard motor. It was supposed to be more of a secondary income stream than a recreational hobby, but most of the fish we caught he gave away to family and friends so I don’t think it was too much of a lucrative venture. As soon as he found a spot, we anchored and began preparing the lines by baiting the hooks. There was always a sense of anticipation at the prospect of quickly filling the chilly bin with schools of fresh flounder and snapper and on a good day we would often stop off at all my relatives’ homes to distribute the bounty on our return. However, on a slow day this excitement seemed to fade over the course of the expedition (along with the sunlight) and the silence in the water was louder than the quiet in the boat.
As educators, we may also go “fishing” in our classrooms every day, especially when we are teaching children who may not have firsthand experience in the knowledge domain that we are trying to teach or explain.
The Samoan proverb “O le upega e tautau, ‘ae fagota”, which is translated “The net is now hanging up to dry, but will be used again soon for fishing”, means that if at first you do not succeed – try and try again.
As a Pasifika secondary science teacher, it is fair to say that there have been days where the silence in the classroom reminded me of those quiet days in the boat with my Dad when the only thing that was biting was his sense of frustration.