Relationships are the key to building a solid foundation for learning. W.C. Petty showcased relationship building during the school year and looks forward to continuing relationship building in the 2021-22 school year!
Devan Hope, one of our 3rd grade teachers, focused on the Zones of Regulation with her students each morning. Zones of Regulation is a framework for students to identify their current social/emotional zone in order to regulate their feelings, emotions, and energy needs. Mrs. Hope gave each student a small sheet of paper correlating with the zones and students would mark down where they felt they fit that day. Students are also given an opportunity to write why they feel that way to provide context for Mrs. Hope for necessary conversations as needed. It would also provide her with additional information about how she can best approach any student that day. Students were able to check their “zone” throughout the day and make changes.
Another teacher, Kathy Niemi, utilized “Think Outside the Box Thursday”. During morning meetings, Mrs. Niemi would put up a picture that looked like part of something and the students would finish the picture. For example, these came from the start of a butterfly picture. Students express their creative sides while sharing their thoughts with the class and making personal connections with their classmates throughout their drawings.
District 34 has adopted Restorative Practices (RP) to work in conjunction with our PBIS framework. RP is a method of building community and belonging within our school which will in turn decrease misbehaviors while highlighting positive behaviors. As situations come up, it also aids in repairing and restoring relationships through “circles.” Our students and staff sit in a circle and articulate personal feelings and experiences in a process that informs participants in empathy and understanding. Circles are run in the classroom, at recess, in the office, and during staff meetings. RP provides a consistent process for addressing any issue from community building, daily behavior/emotional needs, and more significant situations. This is an area we have begun training in and will continue with a new cohort this upcoming school year.
Image taken from https://www.weareteachers.com/restorative-justice/