The Being Bad book club had a good second meeting at the end of July. Our small group discussed how restorative practices could transform how we do discipline in our classrooms and schools and disrupt the school to prison pipeline. One of our members has done significant work to institutionalize restorative practices across multiple schools. I'm new to this idea, but the working definition I took away was that restorative practices allow people involved in a conflict to talk to each other, come to an understanding of what happened, and repair the damage that was done. In contrast to traditional discipline methods, which are driven by teachers and administrators, in a restorative practice approach the child owns the problem and takes initiative in solving it. One crucial element of the practice is allowing time and space for children to calm down before addressing the problem. There is obviously much more to say about this approach.
For teachers who are interested in exploring a restorative practice approach in their own classroom/schools, our book club agreed to form a Restorative Practices Project. First meeting: Weds, from 4:30-6 at 1500 Locust. We'll be meeting in the lounge on the top floor (press the PC button in the elevator).