I cannot even tell you how much I'm clapping my hands and smiling right now as I'm looking at restorative education. I feel as though this cyclical pattern of punitive responses and then students coming back feeling worse or less empowered isn't helping anyone in any method whatsoever. Meanwhile, I find that as school populations rise due to school closings - less and less of these conversations are taking place. It's becoming frighteningly more common for folks to suspend students and tell them "I don't have time for you to act like this." and it's taking a toll on a lot of our inner city students and males in particular.
To begin to see the inherent value, fears, emotions, joys, pride of our students of various backgrounds is so enriching. I'm wondering a few things about "restorative education" and maybe some of the different avenues I could take to incorporate it into my classroom. One of the greatest challenges I'm now facing is that I hated belonging to a system where the teacher taught curriculum and then sent the student out to an administrator or secretary or paraprofessional to talk about their concerns or issues. In this way, I as a teacher never got the opportunity to connect to my brilliant students. Lately I've been delivering instruction and letting my paraprofessional circle around and assist while I try to have these restorative conversations but I also realize how much time that is taking from my other 29 students. I'm wondering how to really make restorative education into something daily for all my students because we all as people need to feel restored!!!! Thanks again - so much!
This is great for me, I am looking at introducing spiritual literacy into the public schools. We will be doing it in a couple of pilot sites to begin. I love that you connect spirituality with wisdom. I feel that our public schools are lacking in both spirituality and wisdom. I can't wait to learn from you!!
Welcome, Martha. Are you familiar with Robert Cole's work? Here are a couple of discussions posted referencing interviews with him on children and spirituality from Krista Tippet's radio show, Speaking of Faith. This one is on The Inner Lives of Children and this one is on The Spiritual Insight of Children.
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