Teaching Teachers to Circle – embedding RJ philosophy

SCVRJP began with the goal of “embedding the philosophy” of Restorative Justice.  I have our board chair and local senate cadidate Alison Page, for holding true to that.  She reminded us often of this goal, and I balanced it with providing direct service.

We’ve learned valuable lesson along the way in promoting and implementing RJ in schools.  Minnesota has approximately 32% or schools using RJ.  They funded grants from 2001-2003 and provided staff positions and learned that when the grant ended the position ended.  That’s part of grant funds reality – typically you get three years.  With over a decade of human services experience, it happens time and time again that a great program comes and goes based on funding.

So I teach people to fish.  The old cliche . . . “take a man fishing you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”

July 23 email (refrencing assigments because she took the class for 1 credit from St. Mary’s University).  I really have to thank North St. Paul District 622, they provided teachers a stipend for coming to the training.:
Hi Kris,
Thank you for a wonderful two-day training this week on using Restorative Justice in Classroom Circles. I really learned a lot and am very excited to use this in my classroom and with our staff at Cowern.
Attached is my introduction to circles and my talking piece, as well as an action plan for how I hope to use circles with my staff. I think you mentioned that this would work for the two-credit option, followed by a reflection when I do my first circle. I really do also hope to get out to see some of your circles as a community member.
Please let me know if there is anything else you need for the class requirements.
Thank you again for being such an inspiration. I also had the privilege of doing small circle yesterday with your dad, and he is an inspiration as well.
Best Regards,
Then I got this email on September 28:
Hi Kris,
I took your Circles class through ISD622 this summer, and I just wanted to let you know that i have been using Circles in my classroom with my 4th and 5th graders, and I am amazed at the respect they show one another during that time. It is truly a scared, special time that we share and I want to thank you for introducing me to it.

It’s been a learning experience for me as a trainer.  I have to thank Catherine my co-worker for tips on teaching teachers.  I also used the Ten Minute Trainer and Beyond Icebreakers as solid resources to help me develop an effective training curriculum.  I love training, please keep me in mind if you need someone to bring RJ or Circle to your school or community.

Happy Fishing!