About this Project

The goal of this project, which was the second phase of training as follow up from Conflict Resolution - A Restorative Approach, was to develop ways to listen and learn using circles for restorative practice. Effective circles build community culture as well as engagement at all levels of the school organization. As image-bearers of God, we want to grow in the gift of "being with" people ... this means honouring, respecting, listening and engaging everyone in a school community. As we listen and learn, high expectations for learning and being together can be expressed and people can take responsibility for their words, actions and behaviours.

As the training progressed, our desire was that the participants would understand that proactive circles used in all areas of school life are actually the heart of restorative practices. Using restorative practices becomes a "way of being" together rather than a program. We hoped to help participants put a process in place to truly try circles and to work with their staff to train them in the use of circles, so as to experience them in the staff room, the classroom and in the community.

Twenty-five principals and teachers representing 13 schools of the COCREF family of Christian Schools participated in the project. We were also privileged to have Delta Eusebio attend 2 of our training days. She is a member of the IIRP (International Institute of Restorative Practices) in the Dominican Republic and was very encouraging to the participants.

The project achieved its goals and objectives. The circle training provided plenty of practice, examples, and experiences that helped the participants truly see how they could use circles as check-in, check-outs, for review, devotions, conflicts, discussions, feedback and critique, brainstorming and many more applications. The participants expressed their confidence in understanding the concepts and the ways they could be applied. The ability to use questions as a way in which to understand people, ideas and build community grew. 

Pray with us that circles will continue to take root in school communities in the Dominican Republic, and that communities will grow in relationship with each other and to the glory of God.

 

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