We were delighted to work with the New Visions Charter High School staff in South Jamaica, NY. Over the course of an academic year we introduced staff to the Dialogue Road Map and supported them to use it in their everyday interactions. Restorative approaches are becoming very popular in New York schools so it’s important to introduce these practices as a whole school approach.
Introducing Restorative Approaches to a school requires everyone to sign up to change. Therefore when we work in a school we always work with staff first. In a series of meeting we brought staff together and demonstrated how a restorative approach works in everyday classroom situations as well as when there is an incident or disturbance at school.
Teaching is a tough profession and we believe that school staff on the front line need support especially when being asked to try something new. In our circle meetings we modelled a restorative approach whilst also sharing the Dialogue Road Map. When a teacher struggled with the application of the Dialogue Road Map or with a particular student we supported them with one to one coaching to help them ‘find their feet’ and regain their balance.
We also like to work with parents because they have a role in supporting these practices. The school invited parents to a meeting and we were able to give the parents simple communication tips on how to connect with their son or daughter and cherish the relationship.
The feedback has been very positive and many of the teachers were able to integrate this approach into their work.