"Portfolio Reflection Sheet - CEHD Principal : Home"
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 behavior. 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 collaborations. 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. c) Readings: a) Mikaelsen, Ben. Touching Spirit Bear. 2001. Harper Collins, New York, NY. 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.