In this month’s Teach by Design post, we explored how to use effective classroom management practices as a way to prevent suspensions during distance learning. Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts to manage them, misbehaviors escalate. What is an alternative to exclusionary discipline like suspensions and expulsions? 

In this month’s Expert Instruction episode, we’re talking all about restorative practices. We are joined by: 
  • Dr. Rhonda Nese, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences and the principal investigator of a research project called ISLA: an instructional alternative to exclusionary discipline practices.
  • Keith Hickman, the Executive Director of Collective Impact at the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School.
  • Saundra Hensel, the Behaviors Support Systems Coordinator from Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, KY. 
  • Dr. Naomi Brahim, the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Department Lead from Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, KY.
During our conversation, we explored what restorative practices are, how they work in typical school years as well as how they can work while students engage in distance learning. The experiences these four experts share go beyond the practices themselves and remind us, as Keith shared, that “Sure, it’s about a set of practices, but those practices are interventions and preventions by which we do something bigger, something larger, something more impactful.” 

To dig deeper into the work these folks are doing, here are the websites and resources shared at the end of the episode: