What is Restorative Practices?
Restorative Practices is a proactive approach to behavior management that is inspired by the practices and philosophy of Restorative Justice. The priority of Restorative Practices is to repair the harm that was done to relationships instead of prioritizing and assigning blame or punishishment by intentionally building a community and developing relationships within that community. Restorative Practices allows us to establish a safe and productive learning environment where students can continue to work on social, emotional, problem-solving, conflict-resolution, and academic skills all while building relationships with adults and peers.
How We Use Restorative Practice
At the Student Support Program, we utilize Restorative Practices in a variety of ways. Staff utilize a restorative mindset along with restorative language. The restorative processes that we use include restorative conferencing, circle rituals and structures, restorative language, and development of classroom guidelines and values These processes are used to establish routines and practices, teach self-awareness, respond to harmful behavior in the classroom, and provide students an opportunity to reflect on the harm caused and how to repair relationships.
What Students Say About Restorative Practices
“I like circles because it gives me a chance to talk about things with my peers and not be judged.”
“I wanted to come to school because we were going to have circle today.”
“I like circle because it is a safe place for me to talk and listen to people.”
“Circle creates relationships between kids who are not the same and it helps kids when they have a bad day.”
“I like circle because we have made a group who gets us.”
“Circle lets me express how I feel. It makes me feel like I am not the only kid going through hard things.”