What Restorative Practice means to me?

Before looking into the approach of restorative practice, I believed in order for a child to understand they have done wrong is to punish that type of behaviour. Ensure they understand the behaviour is not acceptable and there will be negative consequences.

Through our input on restorative practice and my reading around the area, I can now clearly see how beneficial the approach of restorative practice is over restorative justice.

The restorative approach technique is focusing on relationships and repairing harm to the child and the child affected.

There are 3 key questions that must be included in the conversation;

  1. What happened?
  2. Who was harmed? How did this happen?
  3. What do you think needs to be done to repair the harm?

This is seen to be successful as instead of the teacher burning bridges and creating tension between teacher and child, and child and peer, the conversation had will open up discussion and a safe space to discuss what happened and how everyone is feeling. It provides the child to take responsibility for what they have done wrong, and allows them to take responsibility.

 

Reflection of Semester 1

A critical moment for me in semester 1 which has impacted my professional development was the Working Together module. I felt I needed to step up and use my previous knowledge to help support the group as we were struggling to find out feet with the concept of the task. However, I lacked confidence in the first couple months, this resulted in the group work becoming a challenge for me. My confidence slowly started to grow through each session our group met up. I put myself out there more to share my ideas and reading I had previously done. Feedback from my peers also helped shape and build my confidence. Seeing how positive the headteacher of our agency visit was made me more determined, and willing to succeed as he spoke of his teachers in the school so highly. Through collaborative working I managed to reflect on the practitioner I want to become. I have kept on top of updating my self-audit which has been interesting to see my confidence improve already, I have goals in my head for how to improve my confidence in regard to placement and daily life. I try to keep myself familiar with the professional standards to ensure I am fully confident in these for going into placement. I believe these standards will support my confidence, learning and help my professional practice develop well.

 

Through semester 1, I have come to terms with the importance of reflection. In the Working Together module, I reflected on my work and my groups work which helped me to see how well my group, and I progressed through the module. I also did some reflection in the Values module when reflecting on my personal, social and professional values; thus, opening my eyes to how many values I hold as a professional.

My Reasons for becoming a Teacher

Growing up there has been two main events which have influenced me to choose this incredibly exciting career path; and the first main influence was when I was just three years old and not even old enough to be in primary school.

My ‘little’ brother came into the world when I was just three and I immediately took on the role of being the best big sister I could possibly be. I loved the idea of having a little brother in my life who I could care for, play with and help engage with the world around him. As we both started to get older, I took on the role of acting like his teacher, i helped teach him to walk, to talk, to share and to be kind to others. I moved around a lot due to my dad being in the military, therefore my eyes were opened to many different teachers and schools from primary 1. As I got older I decided to do lessons with my younger brother when I got home from school; I would “teach” him what I learnt that day. Paper, pens, crayons, rulers, all things stationary would be laid out and I would take on the role of “Miss Alanna.” I would practice my own learning through role play of being a teacher. I continued to do this for many years and I loved the feeling of my brother being able to spell a new word, count to a new number, say a word in a new language and even fun games both indoor and out. Although this remained fun for me growing up, for my brother, well, he got fed up and decided he was too old for it. So… I moved on to my youngest brother of 7 years difference.

Although I loved acting as the teacher and using my own learning to help my brothers, I can strongly say my biggest influence as to why I want to become a teacher is all down to my primary 3 teacher in Ireland. Moving to a whole new country, a new town, a tiny little school; I was terrified to start primary 3, “I had already made my friends, I don’t need any more,” I remembering thinking. However, I did not have an option I was going to school regardless of how many tantrums I threw, how many times I took of the new school jumper, hid in my bedroom and cried and cried. Walking into the classroom, I still remember vividly: the brightest colours, posters everywhere, a reading corner with teddies, big windows looking out onto the playground and the fluffiest carpet! I was amazed, and then I was greeted by the teacher; a very tall lady, long brown hair, the warmest smile and she welcomed me with the most open arms. That was that, all the nerves went away, I was no longer afraid, I made so many new friends that I am still in touch with to this day. My teacher was so enthusiastic about everything that she did, every lesson was filled with excitement and was delivered in the most imaginative ways. She had a real passion for teaching, all the children were treated an an equal individual, she cared for us and helped us all become the best version of ourselves. Every day was a new day, learning something new, taking away a new fun fact to tell mum and dad, granny and grandad and my brothers. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher in all my years of at school, she truly brought something magical to the class and it was a wonderful experience to have had so early on. I knew from the day I left Ireland at the end of primary 4 that I wanted to be a primary teacher and be just like her.

I never thought seriously about any other job other than teaching, not in any real depth anyway. The idea of making one child feel better about themselves, allowing them a new experience or opportunity they may not have the chance to have and to make a small difference to their every day life is something that I hold close to my heart.

And those are my 2 reasons as to why I want to become a teacher.

Alanna