Welcome to Our Restorative Center: Room 2207

  • You have the power to make today great.
     
    Your positive energy is contagious and makes all the difference in a child’s day.

    Our Restorative Center is used throughout the day for a place to check-in, to refresh and renew, to reset, to restore for students, staff, families and community. Robin King, our Coordinator is available throughout the day in our Center and also throughout the building to support students and staff as we implement Restorative Practices as an Eastern Heights Learning Community.

    As a whole building we are implementing daily Community Building Circles in every classroom as we begin and end our day together in circles.

    As a whole staff we are exercising our Restorative Impulse, implementing Restorative Chats and Conversations with our students as well as each other to address challenges and immediate conflicts as they arise. 

    Robin King and Julia Mullan partner with other trained staff to conduct Restorative Conferences, Content Circles to learn, Problem Solving Circles, and Circles to Repair Harm for students and families as well as partnering with the Legal Rights Center for Family Group Conferencing.

    Robin King is also providing professional development and coaching support daily, weekly and through individual coaching to our entire staff as we move through our Exploration and Early Implementation phases of Restorative Practice.

    Closely tied to our Restorative Practices is our collaboration work with No Bully. Our Center is a space in which to hold Solution Team meetings with the guidance of our Solution Teams Coaches (Robin King, Julia Mullan, Nick Revak, Angie Wroblewski, Liv Roque- Conrad, Rikki Mohlenhoff and Thomas Kendrick.

     

Impulse- A Restorative Journey Blog

  • The Homework Dance: Filling my dance card and practicing!

    Posted by Robin King on 12/10/2018 7:00:00 AM

    So proud of our 5th Grade Heart of Dance; Colors of the Rainbow Competition participants!!!!!

    As adult learners we can struggle, as do our youthful students to manage homework. As an adult learner engaging in new learning there are new acronyms to remember, new lenses to peer through at people and content, new ways to listen, pauses paraphrases, terminology….and. And as I am in the space and place of learning, it is fresh, I am eager to leave and practice what I know, to try something new and to share with others. I want to share EFFICACY(moving from external focus to internal focus of control), FLEXIBILITY(moving from a narrow egocentric view to broader and alternative perspectives), CRAFTSMANSHIP(moving from vagueness and imprecision to specificity and elegance), CONSCIOUSNESS(moving from la lack of awareness of self and others to awareness), INTERDEPENDENCE( moving from isolation and separateness to connection to and concern for community). These states of mind are so closely tied to the essential Social Emotional Learning Competencies we infuse into our explicit instruction and everyday activities for our scholars, Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Responsible Decision Making, and Relationship Skills.

    What I ask of myself as a learner is what I wish for our young scholars as well, to become self-directed in continuing education, and develop a deep capacity for excellence as an individual and as a member(s) of an interconnected community.

    We can each day continue to build our scholars’ competencies: Self Awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness, Responsible Decision Making, Relationship Skills

    As a building coach for Restorative Practices, I’m always looking for those who are willing to dance with a practicing partner so that together we can grow as practitioners and community members. I invite my colleagues, family members and community members to take a chance on this dance WITH me...

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  • Coaching and Collaboration: When students, families, staff shine!

    Posted by Robin King on 12/3/2018 7:00:00 AM

    An amazing benefit of our having Restorative Practices in our school is the collaborative relationship with Legal Rights Center. Through this relationship we have opportunity to offer to our families a strength-based intervention (Family Group Conferences), which engages the student, the teacher, family members and other supportive persons in a child’s life to name strengths, set short and long term goals, talk openly about challenges around racial equity, academics and behavior, put a plan in place and all be held accountable through a neutral facilitator. This is of course something that I (we) have the training and experience to do...and yet the number of hours for pre-conferencing and regular accountability and supportive check-ins just don’t fit into our 6-½ hour day. The LRC staff is able to invest the time and energy into supporting the process!

    Last night Julia and I were honored to speak at an annual fundraiser gala for the LRC, about the last three years of Family Group Conferences with students here at Eastern Heights and the positive impact on our students and their families, and our relationships with these families. We were joined by two of our students who are currently a part of the process and one of their mothers. Each of the three spoke about their positive experience and the positive impact for their families and their perception of Eastern Heights. The greatest take-away… so many adults in the building, caring so much about each student, each day and the power of the frequent, transparent, accountable communication.

    Julia and I are SO very proud of both students and of this mother for sharing their truth, their hearts and their stories.

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  • A Coaching State of Mind: An Ah Ha! Moment

    Posted by Robin King on 11/26/2018 7:00:00 AM

    A light went on! In my heart and in my mind I have been trying to clarify my role and purpose as a “coach” for our Eastern Heights family around Restorative Practices. It is a navigation of using different skill and strategy sets, and relationships with colleagues through a different lens.

    The model for coaching in my life is my father, who was a Hall of Fame High School and College Track & Field and Cross Country Running coach for most of my life.

    As a coach he took great pride in finding just the right way to help each of his students and athletes become the best they could be, to build their capacity to hold all the growth possible, and to become their own coach for the future. At times he provided information. He might create a plan around long-term and short-term goals that his students and athletes set for capacity building, growth and mastery and send them off on a daily piece of that journey. Other times he ran alongside.

    As I seek to bring my best to my role, I reflect on my own present learning and implementation. I take great pride in building relationships with my colleagues so that as peers, we can find just the right way to become the best we can be, to build capacity to hold all the growth possible, and to become self-directed coaches for ourselves. And at times I will run alongside.

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  • HAVE TO’S AND GET TO’S: Not Just for Kindergarten

    Posted by Robin King on 11/19/2018 6:00:00 AM

     

    Our kindergarten classrooms engage each day in a curriculum called Discovering Our World. Within the structure of their days, the students are given activities to accomplish, some are “have to’s” and some are “get to’s”. Valuable lessons come from accomplishing “have to’s” before “get to’s”. For some of us, the phrase “have to” may conjure up drudgery or burden, or perhaps “have to” translates to “need”. “Get to” may feel as though there is an implication of permission given, or perhaps “get to” translates to “want”.

    As a reflection I begin to think of my days in these two categories I realize that if I say to myself, “I get to make coffee” rather than “I have to make coffee”, I think it might just taste a bit richer. If I think to myself “I get to gather with others who want to make a positive difference for our students” rather than “I have to go to ANOTHER meeting” I look forward to gathering with those people and the tasks are a byproduct of our relationship. In everyday usage the differences in the words do not seem great and yet when I begin to tease them out a bit, there exists opportunity and possibility in “get to”... profoundly a different feeling than “have to”.

    We are as educators often asked to participate in initiatives and activities which feel like “have to”- these are decisions/ plans that are done to us, if we can at times enact our inner “get to”, these decisions/ plans come closer to feeling as though they are being done with us, especially if we transparently communicate our desire to shift the paradigm.

    As a reflection on my own days, there have always  all kinds of things thought I had to do—shop for groceries, work out, do my job, walk the dog. Now I am trying to see these things through a different lens—all kinds of things I get to do. I get to shop for delicious food to fuel and nourish my body and those of my family, I get to take time for just me to practice yoga, I get to share my days with dedicated and loving educators who want the best for their students, I get to experience the joy of my puppy as she sees me reach for her harness and leash and know that we are headed out to sniff everything in the neighborhood!

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  • Conferencing through a restorative lens

    Posted by Robin King on 11/12/2018 10:00:00 AM

    As we lean into conferencing with our students’ families in the upcoming week we can reflect for ourselves on growth; how our students have grown in their academic and social emotional competencies, how they have grown as a collaborative group within our classrooms and in our wider school community. As we reflect on the “good” of each of our scholars and our own “good”, where are we aligned? Where are we divergent? How do we circle up our hopes and dreams for them, with those that they hold for themselves? When we meet each of our students' families to “confer”, how will we develop a collaborative spirit  with the families?

    As we invite, hope and plan with our families around their child's strengths, hopes and dreams and at times perhaps, challenges, knowing that we are getting to know each other and build trusting relationships seems quite essential.

    Circle Principles can guide us to align inwardly (lean into our values and take a holistic approach to the experience, to prepare (include all interests and be flexible in accommodating them during the experience, to engage (offer opportunity and accessibility for all to participate), and to dialogue (guided by shared vision, participating authentically through personal, local and immediate self and being accountable to others).

    In our recent staff PD we talked about centering our conferences on listening to build family engagement. “What are your scholar’s strengths? What are your family’s strengths? What are your hopes and goals for your scholar this school year? In the future? What are some challenges you see for your scholar? At school? At home? How can we plan together to use the strengths of your scholar and your family to achieve those hopes and dreams, and to meet the challenges in a meaningful way to support the hopes and dreams?

    In Peace and Equity

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  • Reflections on a Circle in A Square

    Posted by Robin King on 11/6/2018 10:00:00 AM

    Circle In A Square (Nancy Riestenberg)

    Just as we ask our students to reflect on a lesson or an experience and to share their observations, feelings, and analyses, we as educators reflect on our practices as well.  We have had an especially full beginning to our year. It has been full of hopes, dreams, expectations and requirements of our time and energy. As we build also our Restorative Impulse as an Eastern Heights Elementary family I have reflected on our relationships within the building, guiding, building, supporting…

    I’ve been compiling data from observations and surveys, thinking about professional development and providing support through the “WITH”.

    A favorite song came to mind, “Let’s Be Still”, The Head and The Heart.

    ...The world's just spinning

    A little too fast

    If things don't slow down soon

    we might not last

    So just for the moment, let's be still

    The world's not forgiving

    Of everyone's fears

    The days turn into months

    the months turn into years

    So just for the moment, let's be still

    They're tearing down

    So we can rebuild

    And all this time

    Is just circles in my mind

    So just for a moment

    Just one moment

    Just for a moment let's be still

    Just for a moment let's be still

    In Peace and Equity

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