Level 3 Pivotal Badge: Mission (Restorative Conversations)

An Open Badge from Pivotal Education

How to earn this badge

If punitive sanctions prevented re-offending the prisons would be empty, the police eating donuts and Pivotal would be out of a job. The truth is that sanctions only work when they are designed to improve behaviour, not simply manage it. In classrooms where sanctions are used to re-chalk the boundary lines, negotiate appropriate behaviour, repair trust and cement agreements for future conduct then they can have a sustained impact. When sanctions are personal retribution, revenge or born from an adult's emotional response they are remembered for the wrong reasons.

Use a reparation meeting where you have a restorative conversation instead of imposing punitive sanctions.

How it works

A reparation meeting with the student should take no longer than 15 minutes and cannot be delegated to a colleague. It isn't a prelude to the student apologising. It should be a genuine conversation that re-chalks the lines of acceptable behaviour and repairs damage. In many institutions this has been introduced in place of traditional detention systems. The change in emphasis has had a profound impact on teacher/student relationships for the long term and significantly reduced high-level interventions. Reparation will not give you the instant satisfaction that comes from pure punishment. It will give you a platform to build relationships that change and improve behaviour for the long term. The Reparation meeting is often structured in 6 steps as follows:

  1. What's happened?
  2. What were each party thinking?
  3. Who feels harmed and why?
  4. What have each party thought since?
  5. What behaviours will each of us show next time?
  6. Reaffirm your commitment to building a trusting relationship

The mission

Stop using punitive sanctions. Replace your detentions with restorative conversations. Write down the six questions, have them to hand or even better, learn them off by heart.  When you have had difficulty with a learner in your classroom, at the moment that you would normally issue a detention. Explain to the student that the next morning, before lessons, or at break, they are going to come and have a 15 minute conversation with you. Don't be tempted to have this conversation immediately after the lesson - emotions can get in the way. This is a conversation that will work best when there is a little distance, when the learner has calmed down. Don't leave it too long though - things will be forgotten. It is crucial that the learner knows you are going to follow up. Keep a diary of your experience for at least a month.  Write down what happens within the classroom when you explain to the student what is going to happen next, how the learner reacts during the conversation, what they say, how useful the conversation is and how hard/easy you find this new system.  Note down any knock on effects with the learner's behaviour in the classroom following a reparation meeting.  How does the system work for different learners?  What mistakes have you made? To earn this badge you need to submit your 1 month Diary of Interactions and a 300-500 word reflection about the experience. Read this article about the importance of follow-up. Listen to this podcast on restorative practice. Listen to this podcast about how one school uses reparation in practice.

How to claim this badge

If you believe you have earned this badge, click here to claim!

Alternatively, you can send us an email or get in touch via the contact form. Please confirm your name, school/college name, attach your diary and reflective passage and quote the badge code "L3.MI.RES"

Other pivotal badges

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