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New approach to conflict resolution: Restorative Circles

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New approach to conflict resolution: Restorative Circles

Erin Schneider, Writer

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Here at Tuscarora High School, Teachers are finding new ways to make the classroom a safe, comfortable place for all students. Restorative Circles are a new way to have discussion inside the classroom about problems students are facing. To learn more about these discussion Ms.Biddle, an English Teacher here at THS, answered a few questions.

 

What are Restorative Circles?

The circles are used in different ways, Ms.Biddle tells us, “I have had administrators, in the past, who use this approach when dealing with issues. However, I use Circles in an instructional way in my classroom.” The circles are a way to help students, so teachers across schools may use it in different ways, but with the same purpose to help students with problems.

She continues to explaining her definition of these circles.

“The idea behind Restorative Circles is to allow all parties who have been involved in a wrong doing to have a voice. There is one neutral person who guides the circle with focus questions. Everyone in the circle gets a chance to speak, when holding the talking piece.” Furthermore, “ It’s a time to listen, learn, understand, and express everyone’s feelings.”

 

How can they be used in the everyday classroom?

Ms. Biddle says “I use the basic ideas of the Restorative Circles in my classroom to have discussion on topics that either lead in to upcoming readings or that are related to current events, like shootings or injustices.” This is very important in today’s society because students do not always want to come forward about their feelings. Putting these kinds of discussions into the classroom gives the students a chance to have a voice.

She continues with discussing how they are used in her classroom.

“My students circle up, they have a centerpiece that focuses on the topic, and they have a talking piece that they pass around. I give them guiding questions.” she says. “This process is helpful when discussing, because they all have a chance to speak and they can build off of one another’s answers.”

 

The circles provide a safe space for all students. They benefit our school through giving students an opportunity to reach their full potential! Here at Tuscarora, we strive to make school a better place for all students. To learn more, watch the video linked below.

 

Video Link to actual Restorative Lesson

 

 

 

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