Express: A Spoonful of Sugar…Restorative Practices in the Classroom

Express: A Spoonful of Sugar…Restorative Practices in the Classroom

Jan 22nd

Mary Poppins was right; a spoon full of sugar does make the medicine go down. Let’s face it, learning isn’t always easy for students to lap up or teachers to impart. Thrown into the mix is the ever present spectrum of behavior issues ranging from distraction and moving to all out acts of aggression. Very few teachers today have problem-free classes and all too many have students who display behavior that is totally inconsistent with learning.

What research and our own experience has told us is that punishment, alienation, isolation and pushing students away doesn’t work in the long run…and sometimes it doesn’t work even in the short run. It’s time to rethink the way we manage behavior in our schools and classrooms and provide a framework for restorative practices that empowers our students to change and eliminate destructive behavior for good.

A Spoonful of Sugar…Restorative Practices in the Classroom is a 3-credit Iowa license renewal course that will show educators why punitive practices are ineffective, lead to disaffected and underachieving students and play a role in the school-to-prison-pipeline. Participants will learn how to implement restorative practices from communication techniques, structures and supports to peace-building and peacemaking strategies in order to establish classrooms built on collective respect, developing students with the tools and understanding to self-regulate and self-manage. It’s all about sugar and little about vinegar.

This course is presented in a modified, self-paced format. Participants are expected to access the course and post regularly (at least once a week) and make reasonable progress, but there are no due dates attached to individual assignments. Instead there are 2 absolute due dates (mid-term and the last day of class) to provide flexibility and to better accommodate participants’ busy schedules.

Required Materials:

Smith, D., Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2015). Better than carrots or stick: Restorative practices for positive classroom management. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

This class is available for License Renewal, Paraeducator or Audit credit.