The power of a Restorative culture is that it has the capacity to develop a community based on relationship and respect. Schools that adopt the Restorative perspective cultivate safe spaces for students to discuss daunting and even frightening topics and events.
The challenges we face in our communities and in our world today call for methods to help us all process pain, fear and trauma in a way that helps us all feel more connected and recognize we are not in this alone. Taking the time to show that we understand and empathize with our youth is an essential step to cultivating authentic relationship, one of the cornerstones of restorative work.
To that end, connection circles are an effective method for promoting understanding, sharing experiences, empowering youth voice, building relationships, and establishing a sense of community.
Even for schools without an established daily circle practice, a basic understanding of using circles can ease the challenge the most teachers face in leading classroom discussions on difficult topics.