Restorative Practices Overview
What are Restorative Practices?
Restorative practice is a shift in thinking, believing, and acting that is grounded in Seven Core Assumptions or “What We Believe to be True." These Seven Core Assumptions include the following:
- The true self in everyone is good, wise and powerful.
- The world is profoundly interconnected.
- All human beings have a deep desire to be in a good relationship.
- All human beings have gifts and everyone is needed for what they bring.
- Everything we need to make positive change is already here.
- Human beings are holistic.
- We need practices to build habits of living from the core self.
Each of these assumptions serve as a powerful reminder that the things we believe to be true shape what we see and guide us in how we interact in our relationships, our communities, and the greater whole of humanity.
What do Restorative Practices look like at Parkway?
At Parkway, we are all working to create a way of being--a mindset that truly places students at the center of all we believe and do. We are creating restorative ways of interacting with and supporting our students. This happens through one-on-one conversations, small group conferences, and whole class circles. Each of these restorative interactions occurs because of the belief that community building and the fostering of relationships are the foundations for the interdependence that creates the Parkway community. The characteristic that makes each of these interactions restorative is the shift from punitive actions focused solely on exclusion (time out of the classroom, time in the office, or time out of school) to a focus that recognizes and repairs harm and conflict in relationship with one another.
As a Tier One intervention, Restorative Practice looks like:
- Community and relationship building circles in all classes (Daily check-in, exploring values, setting classroom norms and expectations)
- “Thoughtful Thursdays” community building circles in Foundations
- 8th grade WEB leaders holding circles with 6th grade Foundations groups
- Teaching and writing circles
As a Tier Two intervention, Restorative Practice looks like:
- Support, honoring and celebration
- Building understanding and repairing relationships
As a Tier Three intervention, Restorative Practice looks like:
- Repairing harm due to conflict
- Healing after trauma
- Reintegration circles for student readmits
How are Restorative Practices and Montessori connected?
In direct alignment with the Seven Core Assumptions, Maria Montessori believed that education is a child-centered approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child--physical, social, emotional, and cognitive. Restorative practices are also holistic and seek to balance all parts of who we are: emotional (our feelings), mental (our thoughts), spiritual (our values) and physical (our bodies). Combined, both Montessori and Restorative Practices encompass shared values and connections to foster community building and healing.