Connections Quarterly Winter 2019 - Restorative Practices - Page 3

CO NNEC T I O N S Q UA R TE RLY W I N TE R 2 0 1 9 WELCOME RESTORATIVE PRACTICES T he concept of community frequents the thoughts and self-descriptions of the typical independent school, and for good reason. Community is often at the heart of a posi- tive experience of our schools. Further, the look and feel of a school’s community can be the distinction between it and its local competitors. But as many of us have experienced, not all independent school communities are “good.” What is it that causes a community to excel? Obviously, there is no one answer. This edition of Connections on restorative prac- tices is a great tool in the creation of a positive community. The wisdom contained herein is not simply for repairing a break in community, rather it is a tool that can be used to help in the ongoing building of community. One of the important points here is that a thriving community is like a puzzle made up of many high functioning smaller communities—classroom, sports team, club, and home. A great independent school community evolves through the constant care and attention to all of the smaller parts. A key in these smaller groups becoming high functioning is the ongo- ing work that allows people who feel different from the majority to feel comfortable being authentic. Finally, restorative practices help us to see, in a genuine way, conflict or mistakes not as failure, but as opportunity for learning and growth. l Bob Mattingly, Executive Director of CSEE Announcing a new online event Preparing for the Election: Civil Dialogue in the School Community February 4th & February 6th, 2020 • 4pm Eastern / 1pm Pacific with Caroline Blackwell, Jack Creeden, Kristen Farrington, and Rob Munro CSEE Connections Winter 2019 Page 1