TDT: Restorative Practices

Restorative Approaches: What it is.. It is about seeing the person and not the behavior. It is about planning for the future and repairing the harm that has been caused. Key principles that are within restorative approaches include: Taking responsibility for ones own actions and their impact on others; showing empathy with the feelings of others; fairness; allowing the participants of conflict to engage; non-judgmental, blame free approach and a willingness tp create opportunities for reflective change in pupils and staff.

Punishment or Discipline.. What is the difference? Punishment is to inflict pain on a person for breaking the rules and discipline is to train by practice, especially to enable self control and positive regard.

“Restorative Practice is an approach to offending and inappropriate behavior which puts repairing harm done to relationships and people over and above the need for assigning blame and dispensing punishment. ” Restoring Respect for Justice, Wright (1999)

After reading ‘Implementing restorative practice in schools’ by Thorsorne and Blood I have summerised the key points I have taken from it most:

  1. Restorative practice can also be known as restorative approaches and restorative measures
  2. Practitioners since the nineties have been using it in different solutions and settings and it is about working out a way forward if a problem has occurred.
  3. A restorative approach is about understanding that when something wrong has been done, we need to work with those involved to help them take responsibility for their actions, learn from it, and what actions can be taken to repair the harm that has been caused.
  4. It is highly important that attention is given to the stories of those who have been harmed, in order to repair the harm, and to help the person responsible understand how their actions have affected others.
  5. A key quote direct from the book in which I find invaluable and paramount to remember when situations arise with in an educational setting was: “Punishment has a compounding affect on children who are already dealing with stress and trauma  in their lives. Punishment contributes to this stress, something that may be very evident in those children who are easily aroused and explode in anger and rage on being challenged about their behavior. “
  6. Doidge (2008): The brain can change, by creating new experiences (with focus and repetition) new brain pathways can be formed.

We use restorative approaches to help encourage members of the school community to  effectively resolve and learn. It helps pupils learn empathy and understanding of other peoples feelings and can help promote a positive school ethos. Pupils seek fairness from adults who are dealing with disciplinary issues within the classroom, school or playground. Restorative approaches helps children understand the consequences of their actions and behavior and moves away from a win/lose culture to a more fair process.

What’s your brain like? (hwb)

Suzanne Zeedyk- ‘Pre-birth to three: Importance of early years’ 

The 8 minute video on the importance of early years was short but very impactful. It made me think of what environment children come from and that each child is unique in their own way. Cultures in every aspect of the world are different which creates such a diverse humanity from languages to learning techniques and styles.

What does this mean for primary practitioners? – My thoughts on how the importance of early years will affect primary practitioners is a great deal. Each child within your care is entitled to a safe, nurturing environment in which they can learn and succeed. Some cases in Home life (which the video highlighted) children are subject to abuse, malnutrition and lack of their needs being met. From a young age they are looking for where their next threat may come from instead of exploring new environments such as the way a ball moves or developing gross motor skills. This can affect how they may be in a school environment, they will be cautious and unsure on how to interact with others. They may have a lot going on in their mind on deciding whether or not a child or adult is a threat, and in turn will be affecting their learning, as their concentration will be on the threat being made (or not). Due to their home environment children will have different expierences and emotion towards subjects, such as a child may have extremely out going parents and has been around the world and expierenced different cultures in societies, giving them a different expectation and view on what the world will be like, compared to a child who has only had the opportunity to explore their back garden and surrounding areas. As spoken about in the video by Suzanne, this develops each child’s characteristics and how they develop and learn further, in turn creating who they will be in adolesence and even in full developed adulthood. As practitioners we should be encouraging children to risk take and try new expierences (bearing in mind age and stage appropriate) giving the children a development of their five senses and how it can impact them in a world. What might they think of a smell? What might they see differently to everyone else in class? How might they react to tasting something from a different culture. As practitioners we need to remember that if a child is going through a tough time at home, their concentration and sitting skills may not be there as their brain is focusing on something different, and stress levels may still be high from morning expierences at home. It’s about looking at how to help that child develop and grow in their own way, helping them in a safe, nurturing environment which a classroom should be, in where they can develop and grow further, and have expierences in which they may not receive at home.

What impact will the importance of early years have on professional practice? – Early Years will have a significant impact on professional practice as a child is still developing until the age of 20. The brain is able to react in different situations from a young age, and expierences help development and growth. Stimulating and challenging exercises within school from different parts of the curriculum help children reach their full potential in a safe and secure environment where they are surrounded by friends and children their age. From a young age children’s expierences are important and within the school setting we should developing them further and helping them become the best person they can be in the future giving them the tools to succeed. It is important to remember each child is different and their brains will react differently to situations given to them. Creating a positive working ethos and finding out within the classroom environment on the different styles children learn and adapting lessons to help meet their needs. As each child is brought up differently, and as practitioners we should be encouraging them to succeed, but also be mindful and respectful of their needs, and come up with lessons to meet their needs.

“What kind of brain are we asking children to develop?” – Suzanne Zeedyk

Derek says: Reflect

Thinking back on the lecture we just had, I feel it was honest and raw. I was engrossed the whole time and hanging on every word. It really took me back to Higher History, which I loved, but the lecture was so much more in depth and uncensored, looking at things in a sociological way, which really did capture my attention from the get go.

The different aspects of coffee really helped me understand the different layers and depths of what sociology can be, with it taking my own interpretation and looking at things in a different aspect. Four main points I learnt from the text (with the coffee reference) and with the lecture include:

  • Coffee is a key piece and often a necessity in peoples morning routines, and often lunchtimes too
  • It is a socially acceptable drug
  • Coffee can link the rich with the poor, as it is a valuable trade (connecting globally)
  • Over time, it has become branded and politicalised.

Even though the example given was coffee, I feel anything can really be substituted in, and after the lecture I was thinking more and more of social media and the way it has adapted and grown in our society. Could we really live without it now?

During the lecture, learning more of Emmet Till, I was engrossed as to why society back then thought the way they did, along with lynching. As I have always thought of everyone as equal, I am shocked to have been enlightened more as to how back in the day people were so horrible, and I can not think of what life would be like now if this to were happen. I would like to think there would be a fair trial and that times have indeed improved for the better for African Americans. I find it interesting the juxtaposition of how back then, African Americans were separated from white people, but the popularity of music from the likes of Ella Fitzgerald.

I feel, if I was alive during and after World War Two, that I myself, would be a suffragette. I find woman fighting to get the vote, and winning, is such an interesting and fascinating subject, as it was the women before us who done this. If there is a chance to vote nowadays, I make sure my the women around me use it, even if they do not know who to vote for, using the vote is better than not, as women in the past fought and died for it. The UK as a country has come such a long way from the sexualised, degrading advertising. The lecture this showed how far our country has come, as if this was publicised now, there would be an out cry. I found the lecture empowering because as time goes on women are becoming more equal to men, whether it be in sport or politics, we have more and more of a say. Society is changing as even though coffee shops may be on every corner, the women in our society are gradually becoming less known as ‘someones wife’.

I feel as a future teacher, it is important to encourage children to follow their own paths even if it isn’t the social norm. Everyone is unique and this should be celebrated. Children should be reminded that everyone is equal, no matter the colour of their skin, the background they come from, the clothes they wear, or who has the latest game and who doesn’t. I feel this should be important within the classroom as they are the future social societies.

 

four envelopes… one lesson.

Within our first values workshop, we were divided up into four equal groups. Each group was then handed out the same looking envelope, but what was unknown to us at the time was that each same looking envelope had different contents…… but why?

The task was to create something that would be handy for a new student to use when starting the university. In each group, each envelope had different usable materials in it. In my group, this consisted of: one single sheet of A4 paper, two post-it notes, two elastic bands, a pen, a pencil and four paper clips. In our group we thought what could we make that would be useful? Scratching our heads and brainstorming, we came up with the idea of an information leaflet, which consisted of folding the piece of paper in half. At this point our brainstorming session was over, as we were only given ten minutes to then present to the rest of the class our idea and pitch it. At this point, we realised that everyone has different materials, which indeed did confuse our group, as we had the smallest and plain amount. After listening, and taking on board other groups ideas, we revamped ours slightly but went ahead with our main idea, and with the next 10-15 minutes given, we did indeed create our lovely leaflet. At this point however, we were informed that our presentation and ideas, along with our final product, we would receive points and that there was potential to win a prize. This upped our game even more. We then with the time left, planned our presentation and finished our leaflet which included a map of campus, social media outlets, important emails and student information, along with a basic timetable.

When presenting, we were all confident and took pride in what we had achieved and made. Our group done well (I thought) with the resources that were given however, we were given a 2 out of 10. How soul destroying. We found that the better the groups resources were, even if their ideas weren’t the greatest, they were scoring better than us and were getting lots more praise and support from our main advisor. The group with the most resources won, as it was bright, attractive and colourful which really captured everyone’s attention.

What I personally took from the lesson is that, as a future primary teacher, I need to respect everyone no matter where they come from, what they might have or not have or what background they come from, everyone should be treated with the same respect and fairness. It is important to include everyone in a lesson and give praise when it is needed as it can help encourage children to keep going and to develop and succeed further. I think it is important to remember that everyone is their own individual with different circumstances, and that no matter where you come from in society that we should all be given an equal chance in life, but as this workshop proved, is that it is more likely that someone from a well off background is more likely to succeed and do well in life, unlike someone who is from a deprived background who may not have as much, which may lead to them not reaching their full potential and having the chance to reach for the dreams they wish to achieve. I hope that when I qualify as a teacher, I will inspire and help the children that I teach, no matter their background, to reach for the stars and follow their dreams.

Oh! To be a Teacher…

Why would I like to be a teacher? I would love to become a teacher to change and inspire young lives, no matter the age and stage of development. When I was in Primary 5 and Primary 7 myself, I had a teacher who I looked up to, who I knew I could trust and was approachable whenever needed within the classroom. I remember being very shy, and I remember being brought out of my shell and having confidence shone into me. Thus, ever since, giving me the inspiration and drive to become a teacher myself.  With lots of questions, I asked my teacher endless amounts and at no point was she impatient or unwilling. She listened to me, and helped me develop my own knowledge and skills which I’m sure will help me still, when I become a teacher myself. She was one of the first people to tell me that no questions can be considered as ‘silly’, and that someone else in the classroom might well be thinking the same as me.

I feel with my teaching degree, I can also give children the confidence and guidance that they need to reach and become their full potential that was once given to me. I feel that everyday in the classroom would be different, and that each day would bring a new opportunity to encourage, and inspire children to be the best they can be. Children are young and vulnerable and I feel that when in a safe and positive environment, such as the classroom, they can strive to reach their goals with the support they need. I think it is important to remember that each child is their own individual who, in turn, has their on unique experiences and background, which means each child will have different needs. This in turn, makes me excited and looking forward to creating, developing and carrying out lessons to cater to the classrooms different needs. I feel that as a person, I am creative and I look forward to having my creative streak and love of colours inputed within my lessons and throughout my classroom, which I hope creates a fun learning environment for everyone.

Aged 23, I feel now is the right time to embark on this new adventure and journey (plus it being third time lucky getting on this course), with the goal of having my own classroom to enrich and inspire future generations to become the best they can be and that if they put their mind to something, have a goal, and work hard that they can achieve and become anything they would like in their wildest dreams. Whilst at college and on placements, I witnessed children grow and build their confidence, and when conquering a task the satisfaction and glee on their faces. No matter the age and stage of children, at each development stage they are at, they need a positive and enthusiastic teacher, and I do believe that I can be the one to guide, help and encourage them to become the most optimal person they can be. I am determined and driven to be the best teacher I can possibly be, to help motivate and fuel children’s desire to reach for the stars.

 

 

 

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Welcome to your ePortfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

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Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

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