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.
I 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.