One of the goals in Restorative Practices is for students to learn to value and regularly use pro-active positive ways that build and help maintain a peaceful classroom community. Also, the shift towards restorative classrooms is recognizing and using the inherent value of misbehavior as an opportunity for social and emotional learning concepts. For example: How do students interpret values? Is their definition for values the same as your or other students? Through Restorative Practices such as community circle activities, these questions can be answered and establish a common definition. Students can conclude that values are stable long-lasting beliefs about what is important to them and/or that these can become standards by which they can order their lives and make good choices. Are our students at SOC making those choices?
So, what are your (and their) values? Which are the most important ones for you and/or your class?
“Caring, trust, friendship, cooperation, teamwork, honesty, integrity, courtesy, etc.”
During restorative activities, ideas such as values or beliefs can be discussed, students develop an understanding of the concept, learn how to participate in circle dialogues, and practice applying the concept to their daily lives. If we as teachers want values to live beyond a slogan or poster, take time to teach them in interactive ways like role-playing, reading and writing stories about values in action, and asking students to recall their life experiences and relate them to their values.
Practicing Teamwork, Trust, Respect, and Relationships