Restorative Practices build community and can help set things right when the integrity of the community is challenged by harmful behaviors. When people come together for restorative interactions they sit in circles. Circle dialogue is a fundamental element of restorative dialogue. Classroom circles support the two main goals of restorative practices: building community; and responding to harms through dialogue that sets things right.
Restorative practices cultivate a culture in which everyone feels like they belong. They build a particular sense of community in which every member--students, teacher, parent volunteers, aides--feel that they are seen, heard, and respected.
The activities in this resource are sequenced to support steady growth in the understandings and skills needed to support authentic dialogue and problem solving. They emphasize fairness through understanding, and including everyone who is immediately affected by challenging circumstances in discovering the solutions.
“We have learned a way of having a dialogue that we as a culture did not have. The ability to take real life experiences on our campus and in our community and have a forum to work with them in a way that is transformative in the school is rare. The response to this process has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Goals for Students
Goals for Teachers
Goals for Classroom Community