July 3, 2019

Why Restorative Practices?

Christian Education in Guatemala: A Restorative Approach

Sometimes as a co-leader of the Walking Together (WT) Program, I get asked why the emphasis on “Restorative Practices”.  This is a really good question.  WT wishes to help Christian school systems (our partners) grow in their ability to have healthy learning, healthy leadership and healthy organizational development.

However, sometime WT trainings lead to fear and conflict because teachers or principals are afraid of new ideas in Christian education.  They will have to risk trying something different and they may have setbacks so it may be easier just to do what they know.  Restorative Practices brings protocols and ways of having conversations that allow teachers, principals and leaders to share their concerns without judgment. 

The second reality that many of our partners face is a fair amount of conflict and bullying in the classrooms, with their families and in their community.  It is very difficult to lead learning if teachers are constantly in a state of crisis about classroom behavior.  It is also difficult for the schools to connect with parents and the community if blame and escalation of conflict is a possibility.

How can the Christian community everywhere learn safe, respectful practices that will bring peace, shalom, ownership of responsibility and calm communication? 

The Walking together Program sees the introduction of Restorative Practices as its model for such abilities.  AMG Guatemala is the fifth partner to be introduced to Restorative Practices and in each case, our partners have found the “ways of being” and the “restorative questions” as well as the “restorative circles & conferences” as amazing structures to live out the mission and vision of Christ. 

We are called to be “agents of reconciliation (or restoration)” along with Christ.  These practices help us on that journey.  What our participants continually comment after a training is how the restorative practices not only help them in their classrooms but also in their homes, with their families, in their churches and in their communities. 

EduDeo wishes to “transform communities” through Christian education. Restoratives Practices gives our brothers and sisters in Christ one way to help bring that vision to life.

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