Restorative practices in education: building teacher capacity and empowering student voice
Master of Education
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How might I support educators to adopt a proactive mindset and develop the skills to respond to conflict restoratively? How might I empower students to take ownership for, and work toward, resolving conflicts that occur in school focusing on restoring and valuing relationships, with decreased adult dependence and increased personal independence? I would describe myself as a peacemaker. As the youngest of three children from a family with many internal struggles and challenges, many of my memories involve responding to uncomfortable home situations by trying to solve the issues among my family members, a habit which followed me into adulthood. Through experience, I’ve learned that listening, rather than speaking, can often be a more effective strategy for building relationships and restoring harm in most social situations. When I listen to understand, and not to respond, I sincerely hear what my family members, friends, colleagues, and students really need in order to move forward and/or heal in a given situation. In my personal and professional relationships, I’ve noticed that truly listening, and being heard, appears to be the key to developing relationships with greater clarity, mutual respect, and deeper commitment. I believe, passionately, in building relationships from a deep-rooted, sustainable perspective. Personal connections are the bridge between maintaining relationships and honouring commitment. From my past teaching and current administrative experiences in education, when I support students’ relationships with each other, I feel that I am laying the foundation for students to think restoratively in their interactions.