Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 41

was trying to get my youngest girl to get dressed in the morning and she would not do it and it was taking too long. She was making us all late. So I used to say, “Why can’t you just listen and get dressed?” Of course, she still wouldn’t get dressed. Last week, after class, I told her that it made me frustrated when she did not get dressed because then we were late to school. She dressed herself in the morning and then I told her, “I am very happy when you dress yourself.” After the opening circle, parents reviewed affective statements and then moved on to restorative questions. Ms. Geiges, explained that restorative questions are non-judgmental questions that communicate a desire for understanding and that they are best used in a private setting. “If you are unable to ask your student these questions without anger or judgment, than you should wait for a time when you’re ready and able to discuss the conflict without strong emotions. Additionally, when participating in a restorative conference, it is important to say exactly what you heard in response to the questions.” She then provided the parents with a list of questions to ask kindergarten, first and second graders and a separate list for third, fourth and fifth graders. She explained: RP at Rosa Parks Elementary. “I have been teaching for ten years, the last five of which have been here at Rosa Parks. This is our second year with Restorative Practices and the climate here is much better. There is a lot less screaming and fighting from the kids. I also see a lot fewer ‘frequent fliers, who usually are repeatedly referred to the office. Now you go through a restorative conference and that’s it. I think that the students feel like their voices are being heard so they are less angry and less likely to act out.” “These questions are asked when a child has exhibited unacceptable behavior, such as hitting a sibling or classmate or cursing. Parents or teachers should ask the student to recall what s/he was thinking when the incident occurred, who was affected by his/her actions, what s/he has thought about the incident since it occurred and what s/he he thinks can be done to correct the effects of the incident.” She told the group that if there are two or more students involved in an incident, they should be told that they will each be allowed to answer the questions and tell their side of the story. Teachers and school staff carry these questions with them at all times. After practicing the questions in pairs, the parents, teachers, and a cafeteria worker returned to a closing circle to end the class. While passing the talking piece in the opposite direction from the opening circle, parents discussed how they were planning to use what they had learned. One parent planned to use restorative conferences when her two young children argued about their toys, while teacher Cecily Ina said that she planned on using more affective statements with her husband. After the circle adjourned, Ms. Ina talked about the changes she had observed since the implementation of 39