I’m just back from a highly successful 2-day training of 15 school teachers in New Delhi, India. The training was a follow-up to our kick-off training last October 2009 of 55 teachers implementing our Children’s Resiliency Program in a dozen schools in 5 cities across India. This time around the training focused specifically on ‘Restorative Practices’, a proven easy-to-learn method rapidly gaining use in schools around the world for dealing with interpersonal conflict, problem solving, and building community in an inclusive and non-punitive way.
This was the first time for me personally to teach this training at this level of intensity and I have to say it was really exciting. The teachers learned the skills easily and before I knew it they were running practice ‘circles’ in which they broke into small groups and used the techniques to support each other to solve their own conflicts with administrators and other teachers, as well as conducting role play to practice using the techniques with their students.
Perhaps most rewarding was witnessing firsthand once again that what unites us as human beings on this planet far outweighs our so-called differences. Despite ‘barriers’ of language, culture and even differences of religion and ‘caste’ within the group, universal values of empathy, forgiveness, and a preference for peaceful resolution of conflict ruled the day.