Over the years I have seen many different behaviours, and many different children struggling to cope with the myriad of expectations, rules, and consequences that they are faced with from place to place. Dad has different rules to Mum, and then School is completely different again; especially since it’s the 5th school in 5 years.
In 2013 I had some insight from RTLB into ‘Restorative Practise’. I went to see Margaret Thorsborne run her workshops, as well as a behavioural workshop for traumatised children. Whilst our school remains sceptical of a complete restorative approach, I maintain most of the practises within my classroom where possible.
My focus on behaviours comes about because of the students in my class, and I want to be able to better reach them and do something productive with their views on school, rules, and consequences; before it becomes too late. I have had a fair few students who have left before I’ve had the chance to help, and this does plague my mind a bit.
I also am not a ‘growly’ teacher. I’ve had students say I need to be ‘madder’ at them to sort out their behaviour. But my personal opinion is that being mad doesn’t make anyone better. Certainly not me. I refuse (for the most part) to raise my voice, and instead will go for a quiet word off to the side, than a stand-up-the-front performance. At the end of the day, what I require from the kids is respect. Once there is respect, then there is listening, and there is learning. I would much rather have the students do what I ask because they respect me than because they fear me.
As part of this, I began looking into what happens when these ‘trauma students’ find themselves in that downward spiral where they get to the point of not caring about the consequences; why it happens, what causes it, and how restorative practise might help in the situation.
As always, I kinda went overboard and presented this in an infographic of sorts.