Restorative practices are based on principles that emphasize the importance of positive relationships as central to building community, and involves processes that repair relationships when harm has occurred. New for this year Roberto Clemente School will include a Restorative Practices Committee. This committee will begin to address and roll out several components of restorative practices (including peer mediation, student ambassadors, and return conferences following absences) with the goal of improving school climate and student behavior. Community involvement with this committee is welcomed! If you are interested in participating, please contact Michele McCortney at 262-8888 ext. 1180 for meeting dates and times.Brain studies show that punitive responses activate a fight/freeze/flight brain response, shutting down children’s ability to learn. Restorative responses create a brain state of relaxed alertness that optimizes the ability to think creatively and learn.Restorative practices take the focus off of punishment, and instead focus on discipline:
Restorative practices are based on principles that emphasize the importance of positive relationships as central to building community, and involves processes that repair relationships when harm has occurred. When broadly implemented, restorative practices will promote and strengthen positive school culture and enhance pro-social relationships within the school community. Through restorative practices, members of the Roberto Clemente School community will: have an opportunity to be heard, understand the greater impact of one’s actions, learn to take responsibility, repair any harm caused by one’s actions, take an active role in maintaining a safe school environment, and build upon and expand personal relationships.
Steps to Restorative Discipline:
Stay in the present: The past is gone….leave it there. Avoid trying to relive mistakes from the past or bringing up previous incidents. Avoid using words like “you always” or “you never”. Use questions like “what is happening” or “what is going on”. If the individual refuses to tell you what is going on, give him/her your perception of the situation. Quiet time can also be appropriate as it gives the individual an opportunity to think about their behavior.
Rule clarification: Although it may seem obvious to you, a student may not know the rule. Ask them – “what’s the rule?” If they don’t know or gives no response, tell them the rule. “The rule is that we use appropriate language in this classroom. Now that you know the rule, you are expected to follow it. Can you do that? Thanks.”
No excuses: Eliminate loopholes. Excuses for inappropriate behavior only cause weakness to a resolution and are ways to avoid taking complete responsibility for the behavior. So for example, when the student says “But he started it” you could say “I understand, but even when someone does something mean to you, YOU still have choices. What could you do next time instead of hitting him?”
Make a plan to repair the harm: Learning appropriate behavior to replace inappropriate behaviors should be the goal. Plans can help a student develop alternative ways to behave the next time and should also include ways to make amends for anyone affected by the behavior.
Never quit: Changing inappropriate behavior is difficult. Never ignore inappropriate behavior, continue to respectfully acknowledge and address negative behavior in a consistent fashion. Always let students know how their inappropriate behavior is affecting you, but be willing to move forward once they have taken responsibility for their actions.