Intentional Classroom Engagement by Craig W. Adamson is designed as a research-informed workbook, but to me, it serves more like a reflective journal. An opportunity to dive deeper into understanding and implementation of restorative practices in classrooms. Adamson starts with the assumption that his readers have some prior learning and knowledge. I, too, encourage everyone interested in restorative practices to participate a Basic Restorative Practice professional development, either at IIRP or if offered through workplaces or professional organizations. It is applicable not only to classrooms, but every aspect of our lives—in our interaction with our colleagues, families, friends, and strangers all around us.
Pulling out a blank journal, instead of writing in the workbook, can support thinking about building relationships, engaging others, tone, mindset, repairing harm, or facilitating a restorative circle. By using a blank journal, one can focus on unwanted behaviors in classrooms, but then going over again, placing a focus on building literacies. And for a third time, focus on both areas to see how classroom engagement and literacies are closely intertwined. Unwanted behavior usually garners the attention and reactions whereas the problem may actually lie with the pedagogy of literacies. From there, we can begin to recognize equity, voice, and inclusion…and how we can be more intentional in our engagement with others.
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