A reparation meeting with the student should take no longer than 10 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.
Student and teacher discuss the behaviour and not the student’s character. The discussion is structured to address what happened, reinforce expectations and reset behaviours for the next lesson. 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.
A good reparation meeting is often structured in 6 steps as follows:
- What’s happened?
- What were each party thinking?
- Who feels harmed and why?
- What have each party thought since?
- What behaviours will each of us show next time?
- Reaffirm your commitment to building a trusting relationship
Basic psychology tells us that if we are to have any hope of influencing the behaviour’s of young people, we need to pay attention to their thinking and feeling processes as well as their overt behaviours. Behaviour is driven by feelings and feelings are driven by needs.
Feelings and behaviour