Community Circles 2017

Community Circles 2017


[[Students talking]] AT CENTENNIAL CAMPUS MAGNET MIDDLE SCHOOL,
STUDENTS ARE STARTING THEIR DAY – EVERY DAY – TALKING WITH EACH OTHER IN A COMMUNITY CIRCLE. [[students talking]] Logan Woodall – 6th grader
I feel like i can trust my classmates more and we do it first thing in the morning, so
if you had a rough morning at home or something, it calms you down and a lot of the times people say stuff in circle to make you laugh. Alex Milla – 6th grader
It takes my mind off of bad things and relieves stress. Bren Elliott – Assistant Superintendent for
Student Support Services the beginning of the day is really a critical
time for young people coming to school. They’re bringing whatever they experienced
over the weekend or overnight and teachers being able to have that perspective at the
beginning of the classroom is really good. [[Students talking]] STUDENTS JOIN THEIR TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS,
EVEN SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS – TO FORM A CIRCLE. THERE’S A DESIGNATED TALKING PIECE, THAT
YOU HAVE TO BE HOLDING IN ORDER TO TALK. THEY SPEND 20 MINUTES EVERY DAY TALKING ABOUT
THEIR FEELINGS, HOPES, DREAMS, CONCERNS… WHATEVER THE GROUP WANTS TO TALK ABOUT… AND THEY END UP CREATING A COMMUNITY – AND
RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER – IN THE PROCESS. Logan Woodall – 6th grader
I just learn something new about every person in the class every day and it does help me
understand them and the way they act and think. Colleen Fitzpatrick – 6th Grade ELA Teacher
I have used circle work for the last 20 years in my teaching and i believe it builds community
and safe space for my kids to function and to learn. It brings out strengths, weaknesses in kids
and understanding. It helps kids get along. It helps them with their academics… Particularly teenagers who are really having
challenging times, i have seen a great benefit from this process… They’re able to communicate their needs
and feel safe about that and not be judged. So if that’s the case, i can help that. Bren Elliott – Assistant Superintendent for
Student Support Services There’s research behind these restorative
practices that indicates that there’s a decrease in out-of-school suspension, discipline
issues, attendance issues. It really improves the school climate and
creates an opportunity for young people to be able to feel like they are needed in school
and valued in their classrooms. If you feel valued, if you feel like you’re
a part of the community, you’re less likely to be disruptive. If you think about that… if you feel like
people value your opinion, that you have relationships with your teachers and your classmates, then
you’re less likely to behave in a negative manner. So restorative practices and particularly
the community circles helps students to develop pro-social behavior so they learn to control
their emotions. They learn how to have positive relationships
with each other and all those things contribute to success in the classroom. Logan Woodall – 6th grader
In circle, it just seems like everyone is a different person when you learn more about
them. Alex Milla – 6th grader
Community circle makes me feel happy and energized. THE BEST WAY TO START A SUCCESSFUL DAY AT
SCHOOL… BECAUSE WHAT STARTS HERE, CHANGES EVERYTHING.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

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