Restorative Practice is a form of Behaviour Management that is focused on promoting positive relationships within schools. It also aims to ensure that repairing harm and conflict is used more than assigning blame and allocating punishment. This is done through an understanding that when harm is done, we need to work with those involved to help the child take responsibility for their behaviour, learn from it and take action to repair the harm they have caused. It is important in Restorative Practice to pay attention to the stories of those harmed. This is essential to help repair them and to help the person responsible understand how their actions have affected others.
It is also vital when using a Restorative Approach to see the person NOT the behaviour. For example, by telling a child they are bad does not tell the child what they are doing wrong and how they could fix it. By disciplining the child with fairness, in a way that they understand the impact and consequences of their actions and behaviour, has been shown to be more effective.
Instead of using quick fix punishments to try and solve the problems of behaviour within schools, we need to teach children the appropriate ways in which to behave. If a child has grown up in a place where no one has taught them how to behave before, how do we expect them to understand by sending them to the headteacher or to detention? By teaching them, just as we do for writing and reading, how to behave whilst they are in school, they can understand what exactly is expected from them and what they can do to improve in the future.
Today I had my first dance workshop, as part of the teaching across the curriculum module. Although I did extra-curricular dance classes as a child, I was a tad anxious before the class as I was unsure what to expect. At the beginning of the class, we had to copy the dance moves that the tutor was doing as a warm up. I initially felt really self-conscious, but as the activity progressed my confidence grew as we were all in the same boat. Once I felt more relaxed, I really started to enjoy the workshop and began to realise why dance can be so beneficial for children. It allows them to be creative and get some exercise whilst also having fun.
Within the workshop, we were also shown a PowerPoint which opened my eyes to the endless ways that dance can be taught and how easy it can actually be. Before this workshop, if I had been told on placement that I had to prepare and teach a lesson on dance, I would have had no idea where to start. I now feel more prepared and if this situation did arise I would have the resources and knowledge to be able to carry out a lesson with significantly more confidence and belief in myself. One idea that I will be taking on into placement would be the use of interactive dance resources such as Go Noodle. This could be useful in situations where lessons are finished earlier than expected. Through resources like this they are having fun whilst participating in dance. Overall, I have really benefited both personally and professionally after this workshop. My growth of confidence in my ability to teach dance effectively can have a positive impact professionally, as both myself and the children can get the most out of the experiences.
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