Connections Quarterly Winter 2019 - Restorative Practices - Page 8

S TAR T ING WITH A PAUSE Continued from page 5 • • Mindful awareness is essential when working with our own intense emo- tions and implicit bias during challeng- es with students. • People are happier, more productive, and more likely to admit to and repair harm when we do things with them versus to them or for them. • Everyone has something important to contribute to the solution. (We don’t need to have all the answers ourselves.) • Reminding students and all members of the school community of their in- nate goodness, with specific examples, is the first step in developing intrinsic motivation to repair harm. • “ In addition, students respond more positively to adults in authority when the adults humanize themselves through authentic and skillful self- disclosure. 3 We are all interconnected. What we do or say matters. Clearly it would be overwhelming to con- sider all these tenants and reflect deeply ev- ery time we communicate with a student. But we can develop a practice of commu- nication that slowly, over time, overrides old habits and attitudes that derail problem solving, growth, engagement, and learning. We won’t ever be perfect. To say, “I’m very sorry. I totally just called you out in front People are happier, more productive, and more likely to admit to and repair harm when we do things with them versus to them or for them. ” of everyone on something I knew nothing about—let’s start over,” is gold. When you do this, students become your ally. We want to be authentic in our desire for productive dialogue, because students will respond to that desire, no matter how awkward. A Framework for Practice—P.A.I.R I developed the following approach over the many years of practicing mindfulness, training in trauma-informed teaching, and working day-in and day-out with resistant and challenging youth. P = Pause – As you approach the behav- ior, pause and become aware of your breath and your feet on the ground. In this pause: • Bring awareness to your own experi- ence and the surroundings. “Am I too escalated to be effective?” “Am I in dan- ger?” Take a few breaths. 3. “Center for Adolescent Studies.” https://centerforadolescentstudies.com/. Accessed 24 Oct. 2018. Page 6 Winter 2019 CSEE Connections