As the 2022-23 school year winds down, I’ve been reflecting on the past year. This past year, the 9th year with the school district, has been the busiest for me and the other three trainers.
Just like we’ll do next month, we started off last summer with two planning days. I appreciate the three other trainers I work alongside, Kourtney, Sam, and Christina. From 2013 through 2019, I did the training as well as the day-to-day oversight of the restorative practices program. When we got to about 24 school sites, it became too many sites for me to handle on a part-time basis.
That’s when Kourtney stepped in. She’s actually the Director of the Family Concern Counseling at Central Valley YFC. I was given the opportunity to write the transition plan so there would be continuity from person-to-person. This change allowed me to focus on what I enjoy most: training, research, and developing curriculum. I also reduced the school sites I work with directly. She’s an excellent collaborative leader and I enjoy working with her immensely.
Children’s Social Justice Books
Last summer I developed a new workshop titled Building Community Using Circles and Social Justice Picture Books for pre-school to third grade teachers. As a former child development professor, I love children’s books. I had so much fun seeing what was out there since I taught at Merced College. Unfortunately, not one elementary site selected the workshop for one of their trainings. I hope elementary sites will discover this gem. I’d love to create community building circles with ten more social justice books. Here’s a link to my blog post. https://fromdiaperstodiamonds.com/building-circles-community-around-picture-books-a-restorative-practices-book-review/
I also spent time developing more workshops for parents. Dodging the Power Struggle Trap is our most popular workshop. The trainers all thought this would be a terrific workshop for parents. Unfortunately, it wasn’t selected as a training for parents either.
Author Interview 1
I had the opportunity to interview two authors for my blog. Before I learned about this book, I met the author, Lynne M. Lang, founder and Executive Director at Restoration Matters. The internationally recognized initiative Virtue-Based Restorative Discipline (VBRDTM) began in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis with a focus on cultivating virtues as a strategy for ending bullying behaviors. I appreciate having some faith-based resources available. Here’s a link to my blog post. https://fromdiaperstodiamonds.com/virtue-based-restorative-discipline-comprehensive-guide-a-restorative-practices-book-review/
Author Interview 2
Before I learned about the second book, I had also met one of the authors, Genevieve Price, through a referral. I was looking to talk with someone who is actually doing restorative practices with preschoolers. was delighted when she shared about her book, Encircled: Bringing Family Virtue Circles Home, co-authored with Ann Polan. I love that this book is a tool to incorporate virtue education and discussion amongst families and is based on Colossians 3:12-15. Here’s a link to my blog post. https://fromdiaperstodiamonds.com/encircled-bringing-family-virtue-circles-home-a-restorative-practices-book-review/
We started our restorative practices trainings earlier than usual. We actually had trainings scheduled in August. I had the privilege of training all the special education teachers and paraprofessionals at Davis High School on Restorative Practices and Special Education. As is true of most of the trainings we do, participants were engaged and eager to learn. It was a delightful experience to share with them.
I feel blessed that in 2013, the Lord opened the door for me to become a restorative practices in schools trainer and consultant. I can’t think of a better fit for my passion and gifts. In my next blog post, I’ll reflect on some of the fall 2022 happenings.
Image Source: Mirror sunset reflection [pxhere.com_1602073]