It was Einstein who said “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
Understand. It’s an interesting word and one that paused me to reflect a little on exactly why it is that we do what we do. As much as I sometimes become frustrated with many key aspects around change in our schools – am I capable to understand rather then just bemoan that:
- we are crowding our curriculum and measuring learning using the wrong ruler?
- suspension rates continue to rise parallel to increases in student behaviour problems in our schools?
- countless good Teachers are leaving their chosen profession, burnt-out and jaded by the lack of connection between their work and their purpose?
Can I really understand all of this rather than whinge about it? Well, I read a very interesting paper by Samia Michail (you can check it out by clicking here) where I was challenged to do just that. It prompted me to ponder what it is that sits behind our fear of change towards non-punitive approaches such as Restorative Practices, when they are proven to be more effective.
More than criticism from Parents or Media, I’d contend that we look far too short term. We really are motivated by the quick fix, the booking of workshops, the buying of books and the implementation of Wednesday afternoon social skilling programs. And yet, I struggle to find an educator who will articulate that they believe a quick fix to our student behaviour and relationship problems is even possible. We’re risking hypocrisy here. Our fear is that we’re not sure howto change.
Michail points out that the key elements of successful inclusive school responses are simply:
- A multi-tiered approach – avoiding the tempting “one size fits all” approach to student behaviour.
- Collaboration across domains – explicit links between school, community and family.
- Strong relationships – fostered and developed between all key stakeholders.
- Restorative Justice (Practices) – working within a paradigm of respect and support.
Now that the how is a little clearer, isn’t it time we backed this up with the what we do in your school?
Restorative Classrooms – Strong Classrooms
Our next FREE WEBINAR will be held on Thursday 16th April at 3.30pm (AEST) … and this time we’re mythbusting!
- There are two key myths that schools must dispel in their implementation of Restorative Practices:That it’s too soft – RP should strengthen rather than weaken any approach to stuents being accountable for their behaviour choices.
- That it takes too long – because getting out a question card every time a student makes a minor indiscretion doesn’t seem like a wise time investment. And it isn’t!
In this webinar, you’ll learn just how to immediately work with your students to build responsibility, respect, relationships and directly connect this to student learning. Sound worth an hour? Then you probably should just stop reading and register here.