Part of our new approach to restorative practices – I call it RP2.0 – is embedded in a rather old truism. It’s that the best teachers doing their best work are always firm and fair.
In schools, we sometimes get that combo right and sometimes we don’t. We identify this with a single word:
- When the firmness is in place, but not the fairness, we find ourselves doing things TO our students. Especially as they reach adolescence, this is a dare to students who are becoming more chemically inclined to resist orders from authority figures.
- When we’re all fairness but there’s an absence of firmness (rules, boundaries, limits) we find ourselves doing things FOR our students. In other words, we do all the heavy lifting.
- When we’re neither firm nor fair then, frankly, we’re NOT doing much at all.
- But when we maximise both the firm and fair aspects of our work we find ourselves working WITH our students. There’s an inclination to co-design, collaborative problem solving and every class just feels like a group project.
With many secondary schools tackling any number of student conduct challenges – think vaping, uniforms and mobile phones – I just thought it might be timely to remind you that solutions with the highest potential for impact are likely to be devised and implemented WITH your students, rather than in your staff meetings.
Without their involvement and effort, where you might be doing to all either TO them or FOR them, you’re gonna be responsible for all the work.
And in these heady and uncertain days, you need to reserve your strength.
Keep fighting that good fight.
PS. It’s amazing how simple, effective solutions like these emerge when you put your restorative goggles on. I’m happy to help you with that. So, come along to a FREE webinar I’m hosting on “How To Implement Restorative Practices” on Thursday 25 August at 1pm. Register at this link this link.
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