The fall arrives sooner than expected. Christina worked diligently during the late summer getting the 34-school site leads scheduled to meet with one of our four trainers for a fall update on Zoom. Twenty-six site team leads spent time with us offering us insight to the transition back-to-school after Covid-19 and their restorative practices plans. For the most part, the input we received reported that students came back developmentally delayed by about two years in academics and behaviors.
We also learned about 2nd graders who arrived at school for the first time. These students are already two years behind. What does a teacher do with 2nd graders reading alongside classmates who can’t identify letters? The district also hired additional behavior specialists to work with students with out-of-control behaviors.
Re-engaging in Restorative Practices
One of the reasons we were so busy this year is that many school sites re-engaged in restorative practices after returning from Covid-19. Working with the school site staff is a privilege we don’t take lightly. We are blessed to walk alongside those who believe that restorative practices in schools provides a positive alternative to punitive discipline.
RP 101: Introduction to Restorative Practices
We did our first of seven all-day trainings on Saturday, September 16 called RP 101: Introduction to Restorative Practices. Participants can earn a stipend for professional development when they complete six hours. These trainings are really fun for us as trainers and for participants. I created the curriculum with engaging activities throughout the day that keep participants actively learning. The day is over before we know it!
My Restorative Practices for Educators Book Update
I’m still working on my restorative practices book. My editor at Heinemann Publishers edited my chapter, The Power of Affective Statements. She returned it with massive changes. I met with her via Zoom to find out if I was able to make the changes she wants – work on flow. We decided to move forward. She accepted my edited chapter months later.
San Diego County Office of Education Restorative Practices
On November 16, I had the opportunity to take a three-hour zoom workshop with San Diego County Office of Education. I get much of my research from this site as well as Oakland USD, LAUSD, and Minnesota Department of Education. The workshop was Alignment of PBIS & Restorative Practices. If you asked me prior to the workshop about my knowledge of the topic I’d say I was knowledgeable. I wasn’t!
They presented so many strategies on how Restorative Practices complements Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). I’m so thankful for the leadership of Anthony Ceja, Senior Manager, System of Supports and Robert Ruiz who handles the registration and technology end. I continued trainings and networking in the spring with their program. If you’re interested in their workshops you can access videos at Restorative Practices – San Diego County Office of Education (sdcoe.net)
Developing Six Workshops on Circles
One of our school sites requested more training on circles. Previously we offered a broader overview of workshops. In addition to the circle I mentioned in the summer update, Building Community Using Circles & Social Justice Picture Books (for Preschool-3rd grade), I expanded what we had into five more workshops:
· Introduction to Circles: The Basics,
· Community Building Circles,
· Decision-Making Circles,
· Academic Content Circles, and
· Problem-Solving Circles.
There are plans to create an additional circle on Healing & Reintegration Circles. These workshops weren’t added to the workshop offerings until January 2023. I’m hopeful many school sites will select some of these for their restorative practices’ training hours for 2023-2024. To view a listing of the 35 or so workshops currently offered, visit https://fromdiaperstodiamonds.com/restorative-practices/training/ I have a long list of potential new topics so stay tuned.
It was a busy fall. We even did RP 101 training on December 17. It was one of the rainiest days we had, but it didn’t hinder the participants’ enthusiasm for training. My next blog post will be 2023 Restorative Practices Spring Reflection.
Image Source: fall-colors-4702561 Michael Travis waterfrontagent [Pixabay.com]