Staff Trained on SEL and Restorative Practices

DeSoto ISD Staff Add SEL and Restorative Practices to Their Educator’s Toolkit
Posted on 05/17/2022
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As a way to manage and improve behavioral and individual growth outcomes, DeSoto ISD implemented the restorative practices discipline model earlier this academic school year. As an additional measure to increase the effectiveness and accessibility of this approach, the district recently offered staff the opportunity to learn the art of implementing restorative practices through a combined 6-hour session that also included the Social-Emotional Learning component.

During the session, educators received hands-on training in social-emotional learning competencies & restorative practice strategies to increase student improvement. Additionally, the educators learned the five social-emotional competencies, and how to implement a restorative community circle along with the district SEL expectations and SEL/RP resources.

Approximately 35 educators had the opportunity to participate in this training series and celebrated their success with a themed “Mad Hatter Tea Party” designed to provide attendees the opportunity to have a simulated experience of what they learned in action. 

Grouped by tables, participants shared the following with their peers:

  • Rose (what went well this week)
  • Thorn (what was the challenge this week)
  • Bud (what they look forward to this week)

To model the teamwork training concept, participants worked with their groups to create a mad hatter-themed hat judged by the DHS custodial staff. The DeSoto High School Career and Technical Education Culinary students supported the event by providing the lite refreshments.

Participants also received certificates of attendance and an SEL/Restorative Practices bin containing talking pieces - such as the MTSS Compact Guide, Ways to Implement SEL in the Classroom, and additional materials to help them continue learning about SEL and RP.

The SEL and Restorative Practices Training series was hosted by DeSoto ISD Student Support Services Restorative Practices Coordinator and trainer Dr. Nikki Chamblee and SEL and Guidance Director Kareeme Hawkins. 

“This event was important because one of the foundational theories in restorative practices is "that the healthiest environment for human beings is one in which there is free expression of affect, minimizing the negative and maximizing the positive,” said Dr. Chamblee referencing a statement by Donald Nathanson,  author and former director of the Silvan S. Tomkins Institute. “The positive effects are enjoyment, joy, interest, and excitement and this event provided all of that for the participants.”

Restorative discipline is a relational approach to building school climate and addressing student behavior. The approach fosters belonging over exclusion, social engagement over control, and meaningful accountability over punishment. The implementation of this practice includes the development of a restorative practice circle, similar to mediation and conflict resolution.

Earlier this school year, DeSoto ISD introduced the concept of restorative practices and its use in school communities, its essential goals and framework as well as its benefits in strengthening relationships and reducing disciplinary problems in school. 

For more information on this topic, please contact the DeSoto ISD Support Services Department at 972-223-6666.