Restorative Conference

The restorative justice model is divided into three tiers or levels:

Level 1 focuses on relationships, basic principles, collegial relationships, teacher/student relationships, and community circles.

Level 2 focuses on the development of restorative conversations, restorative circles, classroom conference circles, and brief restorative interventions.

Level 3 is designed to bring together everyone immediately affected to determine what should be done to repair the harm.

The restorative justice Level 3 model is based on the research and training of Dr. Tom Cavanagh.  This model is an excellent tool for the classroom teacher or other professionals to repair relationships between students and students, students and teachers, and build connectedness and cooperation within the classroom.

Key Method

Understanding and applying the Level 3 model helps the school employee to improve communication skills, resolve conflicts in a positive way, and to use restorative conference circles to repair the harm that has occurred and make the transition back to the classroom a positive experience for all parties (students, parents, and staff).

Method Components

In order for the educator to effectively apply the Level 3 model, he/she must:

use the restorative conversation circle tools to effectively resolve conflicts where harm has occurred,

effectively facilitate a restorative conversation circle between all parties to resolve conflict and repair the harm and,

effectively facilitate a restorative conversation circle to help students identify a problem, develop strategies to solve the problem and to implement those strategies.

            Pre-conference Checklist 12 Steps

Remember to bring these items to the pre-conference:

A copy of the ground rules

Paper and pen for note-taking

This sheet (if it will be useful for you)


What to do During the Pre-conference

Introduce yourself and break the ice.

Describe the facilitator’s role and reassure the person(s) causing the harm or the person(s) who were harmed that the pre-conference is confidential.

Describe the purpose of the conference and emphasize the potential benefits of the RJ process.

Listen to the person(s)’s who caused the harm or the person(s)’s who was harmed account of the incident.

Share the ground rules for the conference and inquire whether the person(s) who caused the harm or the person(s)’s who were harmed has any rules he/she would like included.

Describe the conference process in chronological order.

Explain the importance of support persons and determine who the person(s) who caused the harm or the person(s)’s who were harmed would like to have as support.

Discuss any questions the person(s) who caused the harm or that the person(s) who was harmed may ask of him/her.

Discuss reparation and restitution and examine the ways in which the person(s) who caused the harm or that the person(s) who was harmed may be interested in repairing the harm.

Ask the person(s) who caused the harm to bring a snack to the conference and explain the purpose of this gesture.

Ask whether the person(s) who caused the harm or the person(s)’s who were harmed has questions and whether there is anything he/she does not want to share at the conference.

Have the person sign the confidentiality form.



Suggested Preparation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-RZYSTJAAo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r1yvyP141U

Watch the three above video clips on “Restorative Conversation Circles”. Record evidence of those pieces that heal the harm and build a healthy relationship.

Suggestive Review

Discuss and compare your results from the restorative conversation circle videos with other colleagues.

 

Supporting Research

https://www.iirp.edu/defining-restorative/5-2-circles

https://www.restorativecircles.org/

https://mje.mcgill.ca/article/view/9453/7273

Resources

https://www.rochestercitynewspaper.com/rochester/rochesters-underground-justice-system/Content?oid=2136848

https://jjie.org/2012/08/24/circles/92495/

Part 1 Overview Question (200 word limit)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSJ2GPiptvc

Activity Description:   How do you presently resolve conflicts between students and conflicts that occur within your classroom?  After viewing the previous videos on restorative conference circles, what behaviors are similar and what behaviors would you change as it applies to your procedure for resolving conflicts?

Passing: The activity description is clear with sufficient detail to illustrate that the teacher was effective in understanding the skills needed for a successful restorative conference circle. 

Activity Evaluation: What strategies did you learn about restorative conference circles that you can apply to your daily instruction and school activities.  Compare these new strategies with actual experiences you have had with your students.

Passing: The activity description is clear with sufficient detail to illustrate that the teacher was effective in applying the basic principles of restorative conference circles.

Part 2.  Evidence / artifacts

After watching the videos on restorative conversations, please submit 1 video (no longer than 10 min.) or an audio recording if you are not comfortable with video of you effectively facilitating a restorative conference circle.  Make sure you incorporate the key values and the basic key elements for a restorative conference circle (12 steps outlined in the COURSE section)

Pass

Teacher demonstrates learning by effectively facilitating a restorative conference circle, incorporating all five key elements.

Almost

Teacher demonstrates learning by effectively facilitating a restorative conference circle, incorporating 4 of the 5 key elements.

Not Yet

 Teacher demonstrates learning by effectively facilitating a restorative conference circle, incorporating 3 of the 5 key elements.

Part 3. Teacher Reflection             


Provide a reflection on what you learned, using the following questions as a guide (200-word limit):

How did your restorative conference circle video impact your relationship with students and what changes do you plan to make as it applies to resolving conflicts in the future?  Please site two concrete examples

How will the restorative conference circle model improve your relationship with students in the future?  Give at least two examples.