Teaching and learning after Covid

If you, like me, are struggling to imagine how teaching after the pandemic will look and feel like for both students and staff, you shall not be disappointed by this year’s RJ WORLD conference. No worries- many international speakers are there to give us some support and guidance in our pondering about the “new normal”…

Mark Goodwin, from the UK, will tell us how to reconnect after this experience, the mindset teachers need, and the learning kids can do. And more importantly, the relationships that need to be built (spoiler: restorative relationships). He will equip us with practical tools that “anybody working with young people can take away and use.”

Dr Belinda Hopkins, an author from the UK, will explain how a Whole School Approach can ease the anxiety of “returning to strange new environments facing guidelines that keep people at a distance, hidden behind masks, unable to socialise.” Together with Monika Alberti, she will present a package of resources designed by UK restorative practitioners to support the mental and emotional health of the whole school community at this time of crisis.

Laura Mooiman’s presentation will also be of interest for you. Especially if you are aware that the current pandemic is not the only crises that needed, needs or will need our response. Laura is interested in creating a positive school culture that can face “(…) crises including earthquake, multiple student suicides, Napa wildfires, and student protests.” For her, the PBIS model is the answer, but more of that in her talk…!

– Excited? Secure your tickets NOW here: RJ WORLD 2020 CONFERENCE TICKETS

And also, check out our other posts about the topic “RESTORATIVE SCHOOLING”:
Culture change starts in schools: Meet the international changemakers behind the movement
Restorative Practice in Schools- For, or beyond behaviour management?
The disputed concept of (school-) culture

A gathering of the sages on Covid-19: Hear 3 of our most experienced practitioners address the current pandemic

Annegrete Johanson (Estonia)

Our wonderfully young but wise Annagrete comes to us from Estonia. She has worked with youth at risk in diferent fields and gave lectures in Universities for over 14 years. She now works as a service manager in Victim support and her responsibility is Restorative Justice and mediation. Annagrete also studied social work, social pedagogy and child care.

What will Annagret share with us in her presentation?

She will give us an overview of the challenges and sucessses of implementing Restorative Justice in Estonia in the last years. Next to finding a system of volunteers, the time of Covid-19 gave opportunity to develop Restorative Practice further. Especially, since we all were forced to think and look outside the box. Annagrete explains: “In Covid-19 time there were restorative discussion-circles online and after restrictions there were restorative discussion-circles in real life.” In her presentation, she will create a magical space dedicated to storytelling of people who took part in Restorative Practice initiatives.

Meanwhile, to get ready for her talk, you can check out a post which is part of the #SolidarityOverDistance series by the EFRJ (European Forum for Restorative Justice). The article with Annagrete is called “Discussion with Annagrete Johanson” – you’ll learn more about the influence of COVID-19 on Restorative Practice…

Mark Goodwin (UK)

Mark, our freelance teacher, trainer & coach has 20 years’ experience working across phases in a number of schools. He currently work in Alternative Provision with kids who are permanently excluded from school or at risk of exclusion, delivering a solutions focused coaching programme alongside key curriculum.

Moreover, he focusses on preventing kids being excluded by training staff in restorative and relational teaching approaches. He gracefully shared his Checklist focussing on“(…) how to go about building and maintaining effective relationships with young people to help them learn well.” Get free access to the checklist, which includes helpful tips, here: “The Cookie Jar Checklist“!

Also, he has published for “TES” (Times Educational Supplement) on the topic that’s in everyones minds at the moment… Yes, right: Coronavirus. More specifically: Teaching and Coronavirus. Or even better: “4 ways to re-integrate pupils who dislike school” during coronavirus.”

What will Mark share with us in his presentation?

His main topic will address the controversial and questioned matter of Coronavirus in context of education. Mark states: “Reconnecting with young people after Covid after recent events, there will be hundreds of kids who feel disconnected from school, learning and even themselves. This will most keenly be felt by those who are already disadvantaged and marginalised.”

Mark will draw on his deepened experience and expertise in reconnecting excluded kids to learning. He promises to present what is required in the coming weeks and months to support a successful reconnection, including:
– the mindset teachers need,
– the learning kids can do,
– the relationships that will be needed to be built.

He will share with us his approaches, which are based on:
– meeting the kids where they are,
– throwing a wide circle,
– “I see you”,
– “see the best part”, and
– “check Yourself”

He also let us know that his talk is “full of practical advice and approaches that anybody working with young people can take away and use.”

Dr Belinda Hopkins (UK)

“Transforming Conflict” logo. Taken from their Website: https://transformingconflict.org/

Please meet the fantastic lady who founded “Transforming Conflict“, a National Centre for Restorative Approaches in Youth and Community Settings, 25 years ago! The project “Transforming Conflict” turned out to meet an important social need, so that it now works with staff in children’s residential care, youth organisations and community care. Belinda is also a well-published author and restorative practitioner, trainer and consultant.

But that’s not all – Belinda pioneered the concept of a “whole-school restorative approach” across the UK in the early 2000’s! A true sage and visioner, she is. Moreover, she is on the EFRJ Values and Principles Working Party and is currently on their Training Committee.

What will Belinda share with us in her presentation?

Take a seat, and imagine this scenario…

“It is undeniable that schools worldwide, school communities are facing a ‘new normal’.
After months of isolation and frightening news bulletins we are soon to return to strange new environments facing guidelines that keep people at a distance, hidden behind masks, unable to socialise.
There is huge pressure to make up for lost time academically.
Schools may be tempted to become even more authoritarian to bring students back in line after months away from the routines and rhythms of their school community.

So what do we do in this case?

Belinda, together with Monica Alberti, will share a package of resources designed by UK restorative practitioners to support the mental and emotional health of the whole school community at this time of crisis. Before the talk, or during the talk – make sure you give this Website “www.restoreourschools.com” a visit! There, you learn more about “(…) How we plan for the return to the classrooms, playgrounds and corridors of schools.” You can also find help-full resources that support this journey.

Belinda was part of that original collective. Monica has been using the materials in Catalonia, working with the Catalan Department of Education to implement a restorative approach in schools not just as crisis intervention but for EVERY DAY.

So, sustainable, practical and informative take-away packages from these 3 speakers are guaranteed! See you there!

The Transformational Power of Youth RJ – 30 speakers share

Historically, young offenders have been processed and treated in a comparable manner to adult offenders. However, with the rise of the RJ philosophy and methodology, young people were some of the first to be trailed in this new and innovative paradigm. Over thirty years later, RJ has increasingly built a good name and continues to play a powerful role in youth justice. Around the world, due to RJ approaches and practices, many young people have been diverted and discouraged from pursuing careers of crime.

“The concept of restorative justice is always applicable, that is we ask: What are the harms that have happened? What are the needs that have resulted? Whose obligations are they? How do we engage people in the process? To what extent can we engage people in the process? Those questions are always valid.”

Professor Howard Zehr

For many young offenders, crime does not occur in a vacuum, separate from the rest of life, but rather is aggravated by other circumstances or problems that exist. For example, there are parents, teachers, peers, and a whole range of other social, or relational, features and elements involved.

In a retributive system, however, many young offenders are processed and sentenced without physical, emotional, and spiritual needs being sufficiently appraised and addressed. Once a victim gets to prison, or some other sentencing result, these needs are often only exacerbated and can detrimentally affect their health and prospect of healing.

Research suggests that RJ practices with youth offenders have led to many promising outcomes, through programs like conferencing, victim-offender mediation, and circle sentencing. In Australia, where indigenous youth over-representation is a considerable concern, these diversionary programs for young people can lead to life-changing beneficial impacts for the offenders and their families. Especially in youth RJ, it is considered important to involve the peers and role models that surround both the offender and victim. This vividly reminds all involved that crime is not isolated, but involves relationships and the community that surrounds these people. And it is often only the RJ approach that helpfully acknowledges this reality.

RJ is based on the recognition that each party involved in the offense – offender, victim, and community – has needs and possibly trauma, and healing must take place.

As many key professionals have suggested, it must be recognised that RJ and the traditional criminal justice system do not need to be mutually exclusive. Each brings a different perspective and, with those different perspectives, different goals and results. When we consider the reality of youth crime, it can be appreciated that RJ can have great results for youth offenders, diverting them from a cyclic and recurring recidivism reality.

During RJ World 2020, we will hear from presenters on the topic of youth RJ. Youth present unique needs and obligations according to a RJ paradigm, which must be genuinely recognised and met with appropraite and sensitive practice.

20 speakers explore RJ in youth justice

RJ in Schools

Throughout RJ World 2020, we are proud to have many speakers from around the world showcasing their RJ innovations, programs, research, and work. A key reminder, which will be illustrated over the course of the econference, is the reality that RJ has influence and credibility worldwide and in every stage of the criminal justice system, including before crime itself even occurs. This extends to every stage of the criminalisation process. As such, RJ as a philosophy for addressing deviant behaviour can be incorporated into key facets of society, such as the schooling system. RJ goes beyond just addressing what is perceived as crime, and can influence and shape even things like student behavioural management methods.

During RJ World key presenters – including teachers, principals, and coordinators – will share their experiences and practices around RJ in the schools around the world. A key priority of RJ is the recognition and respect for human relationship and the power of storytelling. Just like adult offenders, children engaging in antisocial behaviour and various levels of crime need the emotional and relational support and direction that a RJ vision can bring.

“Restorative processes include victim-offender mediation, conferencing and circles; restorative outcomes include apology, amends to the victim and amends to the community.”

Daniel Van Ness, 2005

Presenters speaking on the topic of RJ in schools will include (but not be limited to):

Adam Voigt (AU), Michelle Stowe (IRE), Laura Mooiman (NL), Margaret Thorseborne (AU), David Vinegrad (AU), Mark Goodwin (UK), Eric Rainey (USA), Lee Rush (USA), Lamika Wilson (USA), Gail Quigley (AU), Dr Maija Gellin (Finland), Dr Belinda Hopkins (UK), Monica Alberti (UK), Anna Gregory (UK), Terence Bevington (UK), Dr Angela Monell (USA), Moana Emett (NZ), Talma Shultz (USA)

Visit the youth justice stream…


The voice of the victim – especially that of a child – is often suppressed, or ignored, in the typical criminal justice system. However, as we begin the second decade of the twentieth century, there is reason and cause to conclude that RJ will increasingly feature in justice responses, especially in areas like child and youth offending. Tune in and hear these speakers, as they discuss what that looks like in the local and international context!

Teaching and learning after Covid?!

If you, like me, are struggling to imagine how teaching after the pandemic will look and feel like for both students and staff, you shall not be disappointed by this year’s RJ WORLD conference. No worries- many international speakers are there to give us some support and guidance in our pondering about the “new normal”…

Mark Goodwin, from the UK, will tell us how to reconnect after this experience, the mindset teachers need, and the learning kids can do. And more importantly, the relationships that need to be built (spoiler: restorative relationships). He will equip us with practical tools that “anybody working with young people can take away and use.”

Dr Belinda Hopkins, an author from the UK, will explain how a Whole School Approach can ease the anxiety of “returning to strange new environments facing guidelines that keep people at a distance, hidden behind masks, unable to socialise.” Together with Monika Alberti, she will present a package of resources designed by UK restorative practitioners to support the mental and emotional health of the whole school community at this time of crisis.

Laura Mooiman’s presentation will also be of interest for you. Especially if you are aware that the current pandemic is not the only crises that needed, needs or will need our response. Laura is interested in creating a positive school culture that can face “(…) crises including earthquake, multiple student suicides, Napa wildfires, and student protests.” For her, the PBIS model is the answer, but more of that in her talk…!

– Excited? Secure your tickets NOW here: RJ WORLD 2020 CONFERENCE TICKETS

And also, check out our other posts about the topic “RESTORATIVE SCHOOLING”:
Culture change starts in schools: Meet the international changemakers behind the movement
Restorative Practice in Schools- For, or beyond behaviour management?
The disputed concept of (school-) culture

The disputed concept of (school-) culture

If you’re interested to learn about Australia’s initiatives to implement Restorative Practice in schools, have a look at the Real Schools Academy, and even better: Listen to the CEO Adam Voigt tackle the question “How do we work on the culture of a school if we’re not sure what it [culture] is?” *Psssst… his book Restoring Teaching will be launched soon… You can save your copy now!!! *

Margaret Thorsborne, who has a history of experience with implementing Restorative Practice in different schools and organisations in Australia, US, UK, South East Asia and New Zealand will shed light on the concept of “deep culture change”. Her presentation might be the perfect accompaniment to Adam Voigt and his exploration of the meaning of school culture. Additionally, Margaret offers some helpful tools to assess the “readiness” for the introduction of Restorative Practice initiatives, using a relational approach. More can be found here: Ready4RP. She will also share her key findings from her experiences supporting a variety of organisations in their efforts to acquire a restorative mindset.

Tom Shaw, a teacher, researcher and senior leader from the UK, is part of developing the Restore Our Schools Project. Curated by “a restorative collective of researchers, practitioners and school leaders”, stakeholders plan together for the return to the classrooms, playgrounds and corridors of schools. He will introduce the astonishing CMCS (Carr Manor Community School) model. This model bucks several local and national trends: “It has had zero permanent exclusions for 14 years, consistently has the lowest rate of fixed term exclusions in Leeds, high staff retention and the lowest staff absence for stress in Leeds. Pupils self-report higher than city-wide measures on the annual well-being survey”. Curious to find out what’s behind this magical model? Don’t miss his talk!

And also, check out our other posts about the topic “RESTORATIVE SCHOOLING”:
Culture change starts in schools: Meet the international changemakers behind the movement
Restorative Practice in Schools- For, or beyond behaviour management?
Teaching and Learning after Covid?!

Three perspectives on school culture

If you’re interested to learn about Australia’s initiatives to implement Restorative Practice in schools, have a look at the Real Schools Academy, and even better: Listen to the CEO Adam Voigt tackle the question “How do we work on the culture of a school if we’re not sure what it [culture] is?” *Psssst… his book Restoring Teaching will be launched soon… You can save your copy now!!! *

Margaret Thorsborne, who has a history of experience with implementing Restorative Practice in different schools and organisations in Australia, US, UK, South East Asia and New Zealand will shed light on the concept of “deep culture change”. Her presentation might be the perfect accompaniment to Adam Voigt and his exploration of the meaning of school culture. Additionally, Margaret offers some helpful tools to assess the “readiness” for the introduction of Restorative Practice initiatives, using a relational approach. More can be found here: Ready4RP. She will also share her key findings from her experiences supporting a variety of organisations in their efforts to acquire a restorative mindset.

Tom Shaw, a teacher, researcher and senior leader from the UK, is part of developing the Restore Our Schools Project. Curated by “a restorative collective of researchers, practitioners and school leaders”, stakeholders plan together for the return to the classrooms, playgrounds and corridors of schools. He will introduce the astonishing CMCS (Carr Manor Community School) model. This model bucks several local and national trends: “It has had zero permanent exclusions for 14 years, consistently has the lowest rate of fixed term exclusions in Leeds, high staff retention and the lowest staff absence for stress in Leeds. Pupils self-report higher than city-wide measures on the annual well-being survey”. Curious to find out what’s behind this magical model? Don’t miss his talk!

And also, check out our other posts about the topic “RESTORATIVE SCHOOLING”:
Culture change starts in schools: Meet the international changemakers behind the movement
Restorative Practice in Schools- For, or beyond behaviour management?
Teaching and Learning after Covid?!

Restorative Practice in Schools – For, or beyond behaviour management?

Some leading experts understand the restorative approach in schools as a great way to manage behaviour. Amongst those is David Vinegrad, a well experienced trainer and conference facilitator in teacher education with wide ranging experience with international and Australian schools. Laura Mooiman, an international educational consultant based in the Netherlands, will share the insights as a project director for the Wellness Program and PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support). The goal of PBIS, on which she will elaborate in her presentation, is to create “(…) systems and structures to prevent problem behavior, make students and staff feel safe, and shift staff mindset toward positive approaches to managing student behaviour.” If you want to learn more about this vision, check out her page: https://www.lauramooiman.com/about.

On the other side, some pioneers claim that a restorative approach can only unleash its full potential when thinking beyond, or outside behaviour management. Michelle Stowe, a name mentioned the Blogpost “Culture Change Starts in Schools“, explicitly articulates her passion to move “(…) conversations beyond ‘behaviour management’ and towards growing relational learning communities. In her presentation, she will explore the concept of leadership as modelling. In her view, thinking restoratively informs “how we think, speak, share, listen, ask and show up, all day every day in our classrooms and beyond.”

Graeme George, like Michelle, regards Restorative Practice as a practice beyond its purpose to manage behaviour. He has been a teacher for 38 years and focusses on the “transformative element” inherent to a restorative mindset. He will illuminate what he calls a “(…) truly relational pedagogy around the school values, in which the community’s guiding values can be brought to life – and to bear – in the students’ and teachers’ lived experience.” If this sounds exciting, you can learn more on his Website RP for Schools!

And also, check out our other posts about the topic “RESTORATIVE SCHOOLING”:
Culture change starts in schools: Meet the international changemakers behind the movement
The disputed concept of (school-) culture
Teaching and Learning after Covid?!

Restorative Practice in Schools – beyond behaviour management?

Some leading experts understand the restorative approach in schools as a great way to manage behaviour. Amongst those presenting at RJ World are David Vinegrad, a well experienced trainer and conference facilitator in teacher education with wide ranging experience with international and Australian schools. Laura Mooiman, an international educational consultant based in the Netherlands, will share the insights as a project director for the Wellness Program and PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support). The goal of PBIS, on which she will elaborate in her presentation, is to create “(…) systems and structures to prevent problem behavior, make students and staff feel safe, and shift staff mindset toward positive approaches to managing student behaviour.” If you want to learn more about this vision, check out her page: https://www.lauramooiman.com/about.

On the other side, some pioneers claim that a restorative approach can only unleash its full potential when thinking beyond, or outside behaviour management. Michelle Stowe, a name mentioned the Blogpost “Culture Change Starts in Schools“, explicitly articulates her passion to move “(…) conversations beyond ‘behaviour management’ and towards growing relational learning communities. In her presentation, she will explore the concept of leadership as modelling. In her view, thinking restoratively informs “how we think, speak, share, listen, ask and show up, all day every day in our classrooms and beyond.”

And also, check out our other posts about the topic “RESTORATIVE SCHOOLING”:
Culture change starts in schools: Meet the international changemakers behind the movement
The disputed concept of (school-) culture
Teaching and Learning after Covid?!

Culture change starts in schools: Meet the international changemakers behind the movement

„Empathy: The heart of difficult conversations”

This is the first sentence you encounter on Michelle Stowe’s Website of the initiative she runs, called Connect RP. Michelle is one of our Irish presenters at the virtual conference RJ World 2020. More than 20 speakers from 7 different countries will be sharing their experience and insights around implementing Restorative Practices sustainably in the education sector. Speakers provide insight into primary schools, secondary schools and even beyond the bounds of the classroom! Check out Michelle’s Ted Talk to get a feel for the transformative potential of a restorative connection between students and teachers.

Gail Quigley, an Australian elementary school principle with a passion for social justice states: “I believe RJ is the golden ticket to overcoming inequality the world faces today!” In her presentation, she will explain how giving the children a voice in a mostly adult dominated environment obsessed with behaviourism, is necessary to create a just society. For her, and all our presenters on the topic of schools, schools are the place where future citizens are moulded. Thus, it is CRUCIAL to start in the classroom if we aim to see more positive relationships in our communities, families, workplace, organisations and all institutions.

Anna Gregory and Terence Bevington, both from the UK, will present their book chapter in Getting More Out of Restorative Practices in Schools. Anna and Terence explore the use of Restorative Practices through the lens of peacebuilding. Both presenters understand the progression of Restorative Practice as “something to help with behaviour management through to its potential to build culture.” Their talk is for everyone interested in how creative practices such as “Theatre of the Oppressed” help to create a “(…) culture of positive space”.

If you are interested in learning more about creativity and arts in the classroom, you will also LOVE Talma Shultz’s workshop. Talma is an experienced developer and facilitator of education programmes in the US, who integrates neuroscience, psychology, pedagogy and the arts grounded in equity and inclusion. The emphasis of her presentation is how to establish “creative arts as ways of knowing and being in community through circle.”

And also, check out our other posts about the topic “RESTORATIVE SCHOOLING”:
Restorative Practice in Schools- For, or beyond behaviour management?
The disputed concept of (school-) culture
Teaching and Learning after Covid?!