Portfolio Reflection Sheet
1. Title of Exhibit:
Training for Restorative Justice (RJ)
Site implementation of RJ practices
Circle Keeping experience.
2. Identify the two to four competencies or subcompetencies represented
in this exhibit and why is this exhibit representative of them?
a) Judgment: one of the key components of RJ is that the process can be
very healing for a community that has suffered a blow. Conversely, if
overused, the power of using RJ circle’s can become diluted and
ineffective. As a leader one must know: a) when to use a circle rather
than direct punishment, b) how to shape the focus of the circle to end
up in a pro-active place, and c) the vision required to use a culture
building somewhat non-traditional approach to dealing with negative
b) Sensitivity: each person has opportunity to share in earnest from
their perspective, so a Circle Keeper must be sensitive to cultural
differences, emotional sensitivity of the participants, and that the
outcome is not something that can be manipulated. The group
dynamic will assert a will on the participants and listening to feedback
can be very difficult for some participants.
c) Instruction and Learning Environment: the use of RJ as a teaching
tool can be a phenomenal way to get reluctant students to participate in
the community. A class can have a circle of learning, or
understanding, or to repair harmful affects of negative behavior.
d) Written Expression: I was able to write a parent newletter article
about our site adopting RJ and answer 4 anticipated questions as to
why a site should participate in this approach.
3. Describe the exhibit (the who, what, when, where of the exhibit):
Pease Academy was selected for Fall 2002 as a pilot site for a practice
called Restorative Justice (RJ). I attended a three day comprehensive
training on Restorative practices and was trained to become a “Circle
Keeper.” Our entire staff went through the training and learned a bevy
of skills relating to restoring harm to a community after an event or
conflict has arisen. The concept of Restorative Justice is to allow each
person in a “community” to both have a chance to speak and to be an
active listener while sitting in a circle. The circle keeper is the one
person that shapes the topic to be discussed, and facilitates the passing
of a talking piece around the circle. It is an amazing process that allows
all members of the community equal access to input and feedback and
can be used as a teaching device, a community issue forum, a classroom
management tool or an opportunity to resolve conflict.
4. Identify a combination of two or more different categories of sources
including at least two readings, some of which could be from the
internet, class and small group discussion, field experience or mentor
a) Field Experience: the training in RJ was a three day event that was
intensive on role playing scenarios, theory and history of RJ, and
various community experts sharing their wisdom. As both a circle
keeper and participant, I have seen some amazing culture shaping
occur at our school. The number of disciplinary interventions has
dropped throughout the school year due to positive impact of circles.
b) Mentor Collaborations: the Mounds View district was awarded the
grant to implement and train other selected sites for becoming RJ
adopters. The extensive training in August of 2002, allowed us to be
trained by some highly sought after and respected mentors.
a) Mikaelsen, Ben. Touching Spirit Bear. 2001. Harper Collins, New
b) restorativejustice .org (extensive comprehensive website)
5. Appraisal of the experience as it relates to the four frames of
organizations identified in Bolman and Deal’s Reframing Organizations
which includes the structural frame, the human resource frame, the
political frame, and the symbolic frame.
Restorative practices fall primarily within the human resource and the
symbolic frames. In organizational development, RJ is a powerful tool
as each person’s input is equally valued and the circle shares the
responsibility for developing healthy outcomes and possible solutions to
restore where a harm has damaged.
6. Appraisal of the experience as it relates to your values and beliefs (or the
mission and goals of your school):
The mission and values of our school are thoroughly supported by
implementing RJ into our community. Any leader that seeks to
empower an organization can utilize RJ to shape a positive, inclusive,
and compassionate learning environment. Peers play such a large role
already in the development of teens, but teens in recovery from
chemical addiction especially need to process and be heard. In a sense,
RJ is a large part of how we work with students.
7. Can this experience help you improve your current practice? How?
YES! I believe it has helped our community significantly trust as we
have brought RJ into our school. The focus of rebuilding trust and
hope to a community that has been harmed is paramount to any
healing and growth. Restorative practices also seem to have an effect
on the lack of students requiring discipline intervention. The impact
on an administrators time to not have to be drawn into student and
staff conflict is immeasurable. I plan on having RJ be a part of any
community in which I provide leadership.