Restorative Justice is an evolving field. I believe that we as practitioners/advocates, scholars have a responsibility to the field. This responsibility takes many forms. Here’s my list.
1.) To ourselves, to use the principles in both personal and professional. Walk the Talk. Living congruently. Know yourself, and what better way that with addressing your own harms & needs or focusing on peace & belonging.
2.) To core philosophies. The key principles of RJ are consistent – harms, needs, obligations, engagement. Inclusive process focusing on making things right.
3.) To others. When we see that our practice is rewarding and helpful, it’s important to circulate what works. A social responsibility to advance the field and contribute good.
4.) To the greater good. I believe the institutions of schools & criminal courtrooms, need to change. As a society and system, we need to figure this out. I want to help and will contribute.
So holding these responsibilities – means holding a relationship to your own learning. You learn how to care and grow yourself. You learn more about restorative justice, you speak and carry yourself in a manner that others find you credible. They want to know your story. You learn how to create and influence social change. Here’s a few examples of what I’ve been doing.
“Restorative Justice, an old concept, new again” Ted Wachtel, IIRP. I am ready to start reading Return to the Teachings by Ruppert Ross. An RJ classic and must read for practitioners, so I’ve heard, I’ll keep you updated.
My learning about myself and relationships, I dug around the Internet and found this gem: Psychology Today Article. I printed it off and plan to do some journal writing and reflection on several of the points.
In promoting and advocating for bigger system change, the relationship to our learning is this. What Works? In a former work enviornment, I pushed and advocated for a less punitive, less formal style of child protection work. It caused some huge disruptions & ripples.
I’ve learned, that taking an approach that is inclusive and relationship based works much better.
So the title of the post – a relationship to your own learning. I encourage teachers to teach young people to develop this. It creates lifelong learner, and it shifts responsibility from the teacher to the students. The book Compassionate Classroom explains this.
So how is your relationship to your own learning. How do you learn. Are you a thinker, while you do physical work? Are you a reader who needs articles & stories? Do you need metaphors to understand and learn? Conversation with someone else, is talking your best learning mechanism?
That’s the great thing about relationships, they are fluid, and change over time.
All the best in your learning!