Can You Pass the Plastic Bag Test of Restorative Resiliency?
Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend celebrating YOU (our hard working educators).
Many of you talked to me last week about your struggles to be "more restorative" at work and home. This led to some interesting conversations about the risks of trying to be a restorative system of ONE.
DO THESE SOUND FAMILIAR?
You are trying to be "restorative" all by yourself. Maybe you are working as hard as you can to "listen underneath" and forge ahead through the thicket by gritting your teeth compassionately.
You are trying to get your class - your building - your team - or your family - to become "more restorative" by creating consequences, mandates, or new rules that require certain restorative practices and responses.
You have worked hard with a few key people to create a plan for how the larger group can shift to being more restorative over time -- but people seem to be "sabotaging" or just ignoring the plan.
These approaches are all natural places to start AND they risk burnout and a premature death to your system.
I have learned from our mentor, Dominic Barter, and through experience, that a restorative system is one that addresses OUR painful conflicts (not SOMEONE ELSE'S).
We can only build such a system by collaboratively creating a plan with those most affected by the plan. This plan would allow the "burden of being restorative" to be held by the whole group, rather than by specific individuals.
WHERE DO THE BAGS COME IN?
My idea of illustrating this complex concept with something more familiar was inspired byKenya's plastic bag ban, several conversations with local colleagues, and a passage in Cory Doctorow's novel "Walkaway."
I'd love to hear your thoughts and reactions to the Plastic Bag Test of Restorative System Resilience (below).
And please email me how things are going so far in the semester.