One of the reasons some School Leaders put off the first steps in transforming their school culture into a restorative one is that they think it will overwhelm their Teachers.
I get that. So many of the changes that schools have made in the relentless pursuit of school improvement manifest for Teachers as additional work.
As a result, Teachers might hear about the inclusion of a practice like our Learning Circles and think it sounds like “one more thing”.
The truth is that embedding such a practice in your work is anything but an impost on your valuable, precious and scarce time.
In fact, we tell the Teachers in our Partner Schools that they shouldn’t feel compelled to run circles just because they’re trapped in a restorative school. The last thing we want is a Teacher saying, “Look, I would run a couple of circles, but I’ve just got too much to get through with the students this week.”
Instead, our target is to have Teachers say, “Geez, I’ve got a lot to get through this week. I wouldn’t even contemplate it without using a couple of circles.”
Circle architecture saves Teacher time. It reduces the need to repeat yourself, frees you to help students in their learning, reduces your instructional load, and accelerates student engagement and progress.
Considering the current challenges and overwhelm already facing countless schools, I’d suggest you don’t have a moment to lose on finding a better way.
And waiting for time to magically appear or overwhelm to inexplicably dissolve seems more like a wish than a plan to me.
Keep fighting that good fight,
PS. Did you know Schools Plus introduced new Partnership Funding Opportunities? I’ve produced a video to help you learn more about it and how our three-year School Culture Partnership could be a good choice for schools looking to make the most of this funding. Eligible schools with an ICSEA value below 1000 can apply from 7 August to 11 September 2023.
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