Friday, 19 May 2017

Restoring Relationships Through Restorative Conversation

Near the end of Term 1, I heard from some of the other beginning teachers about a PD they were receiving fortnightly at school. The teachers were mostly new to the school so were offered an opportunity to work with RTLB on site to explore PB4L teaching in practice. This is the first year the opportunity has become available, so we did not receive this additional behaviour management support as first years last year. 

Image result for duty teacherI had a bit of a fear of missing out, and the PD sounded like it was a great place to discuss ideas and techniques of how to manage behaviour positively. So, I leapt into the PD this term!

The first session was about lunchtime duty - something which is not regularly discussed. I remember thinking on my first duty last year "what am I actually supposed to be doing?" To be completely honest, because no one ever actually told me, I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing until this PD discussion!
Simply, we should be scanning the area, moving unpredictably, and interacting with students. Many of the group discussed duty as a role to prevent misbehaviour to occur, but holistically is it about ensuring all students feel safe and are safe in your area. This means affirming positive behaviour which is modelled, rather than always focusing on behaviour less preferred. If you would like further on this session, please read Cheryl's post (our PCT facilitator).

Our second session for Term 2 was focused on the structure of a restorative conversation with a student following misbehaviour. Two acronyms for the key components of a restorative chat are below.


I had a moment yesterday with a student where I had the opportunity to try and put this structure into practice. After taking the time to have a conversation with him after he told me to go away and shut up, I felt the chat went well. I took my time to give the student the opportunity to reflect on what happened and then explain what/why he was possibly disrespectful/inappropriate (i.e. to think about his behaviour, rather than me telling him what he did 'wrong'). After attempting to use the above steps at the end of the conversation he apologised (which I felt was sincere) and we discussed how he could have talked to me respectfully about what was going on at the time, rather than taking things out on me. He even told me he really wants to learn and he knows that I can help him, but he was stopping that from happening! He came into class today, and although wasn't where I would quite like him to be yet in terms of progress, he was considerably different to yesterday (in a positive way!). I really hope my attempt at a restorative/PB4L conversation sees long-lasting effects and benefits!

Looking forward to seeing what else we discuss/explore in these sessions in the future.

6 comments:

  1. Good on you for being proactive Georgia and getting to participate in this valuable PL. I think a lot of experienced teachers forget to impart some of the basics to their beginning colleagues like what to actually DO on duty!

    You left a comment on Hannah's blog about motivation. It is not too late to sign some kids up to Tuhi Mai Tui Ahu quad blogging for Term 2. We have kids from Nothland and Papakura signed already

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    1. I agree - the basics are often forgotten, so these sessions are very helpful to pick up extra bits and pieces!

      I have been wondering about that the past few days, may get in touch with Tania. I just don't want another thing to think/stress about to be honest - but I know that my students would benefit from comments/feedback! Thanks Dorothy.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this Georgia as I haven't had a chance to attend this PL so your blog post really helps me understand what we can be doing on duty. I agree with Dorothy's comment as I think there is an assumption that we will know how to do this but I was really pleased to read that I may already being doing some of the basics! Good reflection coming into this week!

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    1. I felt the same, like I was doing some things already I hadn't realised! One that took me a little by surprise, but also makes a lot of sense, is the moving unpredictably. By taking different pathways, or spending different amounts of time in each spot, means that we may be able to prevent things from happening which could occur due to walking around in circles! Look forward to sharing some more tips from future sessions with you.

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  3. PB4L can be quite a full-on complicated PLD but the RTLBs have taken a practical, useful approach. You may have been left out because of your specialist digital role but there are things other than digital to learn as a provisionally registered teacher. A good link here http://pb4l.tki.org.nz/PB4L-Restorative-Practice and activities here http://pb4l.tki.org.nz/PB4L-School-Wide/Support-material.

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    1. I love the hands-on approach taken, I think it is an effective way, particularly scenario based activities. Thanks for sharing those links, I am looking forward to exploring them further to support my PB4L learning!

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Thank you for your feedback! :)