Teacher Tip: Use ‘Restorative Circles’ for the early childhood classroom

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November 30, 2017 by HCDE Communications

The R.T. Garcia Early Childhood Winter Conference is Saturday, Jan. 27, and you can still get our early bird, value-priced discount of $95 through Dec. 1 or pay $110 thereafter. Get a glimpse of the valuable resources you’ll receive by attending through our series of featured teacher tips from our superb presenters. This year, we supplement our grades pre-k through 2 curricula with optional sessions for educators who teach children ages birth-3. #ECWC18

Circles are being used by educators to lead discussions. It happens with a circle of students and guided interaction from the teacher. Although circles are being used in a process called restorative practice to rectify wrongdoing and conflicts, they can also be used to celebrate students or to spark talk. Circles provide educators and students an opportunity to be heard and offer their own perspectives. Use circles at the beginning or end of the day.

Join featured speaker Frances Hester as she shows you how to use circles in your early childhood classrooms. Hester is the senior director of the Harris County Department of Education Teaching and Learning Center, our educator professional development division. Attend the Early Childhood Winter Conference Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Kingdom Builder’s Center, 6011 West Orem. Register for the conference or learn more at www.hcde-texas.org/ECWC .

Session Description: Restorative Practices are used to proactively build a classroom culture based on community and mutual responsibility and to provide a safe space for students to share their thinking in a respectful, meaningful way. The fundamental unifying premise of restorative practices is that people are happier, more cooperative, productive and likely to make positive changes in their lives when those in authoritative positions do things with them rather than to them or for them. At its core, any relationship practice is “restorative” when it builds connections and creates space for honesty. Participants will learn practical strategies to build strong, healthy relationships with students, families and colleagues. This session will provide opportunities to identify reliable methods for using circles to build community, establish norms and address behavior and relationships in order to facilitate conversation and encourage full participation.

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