Teachers get tips on resolving conflict
Teachers at the St George Secondary School should be in better position to deal with conflict in the classroom, thanks to a professional development workshop on restorative practices organised by the Ministry of Education and held on Wednesday.
The restorative approach sees relationships as central to learning, growth and a healthy school climate for students and adults. It focuses on building, maintaining and, when necessary, repairing relationships, by bringing about a sense of remorse on the part of the offender and forgiveness by the victim.
Acting principal of the school, Major Andrew Skeete, said 65 teachers, including himself, attended the event and the knowledge passed on during the workshop would be useful for curbing animosity in school.
“With the whole issue of corporal punishment in school, introducing these practices to the teachers could help them when they have to deal with disciplinary matters,” he said.
“We also want to move the children away from the first response of getting engaged in physical or verbal violent contact and get them to sit together and see how the situation could be resolved.”
The facilitator, senior education officer Patricia Warner, said the strategy was recently introduced to the Caribbean through the IMPACT Justice programme led by the University of the West Indies’ Cave Hill Law Faculty under Professor Velma Newton.
“The theory just says that persons should have a voice, avoid harm and escalation of a problem and try, through dialogue, to repair that problem,” said Warner.
“It uses a number of strategies that could be applied to school, your community or family.”
The 65 teachers of St George Secondary School engaged in the workshop.
Osaze Jemmott accepting his scholarship prize from Juliet Best-brathwaite, the first woman president of the Barbados Police Co-operative Credit Union Ltd.
Zachary Carter (left), one of six students to receive a scholarship, collecting his prize from Hally Haynes.