Each month, we are going to be sending out an email to leaders highlighting some of the restorative practice work happening in our school district. Below you will find snippets of amazing, relational work happening across the district. Please forward this email on to members in your building.
If you have something you would like us to feature in this email or if you simply have questions about restorative practices, contact Becky McCammon (email@example.com).
You can find a link to the newsletter here.
Restorative Practices is…
At the Restorative Practice Summer Three Day Institute, participants were asked to think about how they define restorative practices. A (small) selection of the answers are shared below.
- A process that unveils what is hidden and is healing
- An opportunity to speak freely
- A space to begin a conversation
- Connecting and creating a positive bond within a space
- An opportunity, creating spaces for developing deeper relationship and understanding
- About discovering the humanity within those around us
- A way to honor and make space for voices that are often silenced.
- Breaking the silence
- Honoring and empowering individuals and community
- Listening and communicating with others.
“This was such a relief; I felt like I holding a big balloon inside of me and after this circle, I felt all of the air and pressure come out.”
Restorative Practices at Maxfield
By Caitlin Reid
Each year, we hold welcome conferences with new Pre-K families. Our hope is to connect with families, but it can be frustrating when many families can’t attend or reschedule. It leaves educators feeling defeated at a time when we need to feel hopeful and energized.
This fall we decided to do things differently. We held two parent meetings before school started and invited parents to come to one or the other. Freshly out of restorative practice circle training, we planned a circle with the components we had learned about: an opening signal, a reading, a centerpiece, talking piece, and two questions.
I’m going to be honest; we were nervous!
At each meeting. we explained that their children would be experiencing a version of this process. We asked families two questions:
- What is one thing you love about your child?
- What is one value you would like to pass on to your child?
The mood of the room shifted from uncomfortable and awkward to pleasant and easy as families passed around the talking piece. We wrote the values shared by families in the circle on the board. The words justice, bravery, courage, and respect echoed from both of our meetings.
We finished our meeting with full hearts and a deeper connection to our families. I can’t wait to do it again!
Caitlin Reid is a Pre-K Teacher at Maxfield Elementary School and a member of our Executive Board and Bargaining Teams.