Updated: Sep 5
How to help students connect with each other and unpack emotions using restorative practices PLUS a printable weekly planner of restorative circle scripts.
Restorative Circles are a practice of restorative discipline (or restorative justice). Restorative discipline focuses on repairing harm caused by bad behavior rather than punishing the person who exhibited said behavior. Bringing restorative practices into your classroom or group environment can help foster deep relationships by providing a controlled environment with high levels of support to work through tough stuff together.
Restorative circles themselves can be used in order to address and repair harm from specific behaviors, but also have a wider purpose than being purely reactive. Using them in a proactive way to create a safe environment where participants feel their voices are valued and others are willing to help them is also very important. An established practice of using restorative circles can help foster an environment where students feel comfortable sharing, supporting each other, and addressing challenges together.
While there are different types of restorative circles, and no end to the subjects you can use them to discuss, two main things should remain true in any restorative circle: