Teaching can be viewed as a cultural practice in which teaching is embedded in the culture of the teacher and informed by the culture of the students (Bell, 2011). In this paper, a narrative is presented detailing an authentic example of teaching in New Zealand in which culture is prioritised. It describes the challenges faced by a young female teacher as she worked in a low decile secondary school with male students, the majority of whom were involved in the Mongrel Mob gang. Her approach and responses were centred in her belief in culturally responsive teaching. The deliberate actions of the teacher led to a turning point for the students, allowing their mana to remain intact as she acknowledged their identity, language and culture. This teacher’s experience provides an example of how a teacher can enable learners in diverse classrooms to succeed in their learning.
 Mongrel Mob is a notorious street gang in New Zealand, known for its violence and organised crime
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