Restorative Practices - Building and Sustaining Relationships and Community
What are Restorative Practices?
Restorative Practices are based on principles and processes that emphasize the importance of positive relationships as central to building community and repairing relationships when harm has occurred. Restorative Practices, when broadly and consistently implemented, will promote and strengthen positive school culture and enhance pro-social relationships within the school community.
What is the underlying premise of Restorative Practices?
People are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their behavior when those in positions of authority do things WITH them rather than TO them or FOR them.
What questions are asked when taking a restorative approach to conflict and wrongdoing?
- What happened?
- What were you thinking of at the time?
- What have you thought about since?
- Who has been affected by what you have done?
- In what way have they been affected?
- What do you think you need to do to make things right?
Will Restorative Practices hold people accountable?
Through restorative practices, members of the school community will:
- have an opportunity to be heard
- understand the greater impact of one's actions
- learn to take responsibility
- repair the harm one's actions may have caused
- recognize one's role in maintaining a safe school environment
- build upon and expand on personal relationships in the school community
- recognize one's role as a positive contributing member of the school community.
How do schools benefit from Restorative Practices?
- A safer, more caring environment.
- A more effective teaching and learning environment.
- A greater commitment by everyone to taking the time to listen to one another.
- A reduction in bullying and other interpersonal conflicts.
- A greater awareness around the importance of connectedness among young people.
- Addresses the need to belong and feel valued by peers and significant adults.
- Greater emphasis on responses to inappropriate behavior that seek to reconnect, and not further disconnect young people.
- Reductions in suspensions and expulsions.
- A greater confidence in the staff team to deal with challenging situations.