One of the toughest parts of teaching students who exhibit disruptive behaviors is a feeling of helplessness for how to best support them. Teachers might feel there is nothing they can do to reach these students, or that they have no control over the situation at all. However, teachers have tremendous power to disrupt a system that is often not designed to benefit all students through the way they interact with and respond to students' behavioral choices.
This week on the Truth for Teachers podcast hosted by Angela Watson, BetterLesson instructional coach Afrika Afeni Mills talks about the school-to-prison pipeline and how restorative justice in the classroom can change the trajectory of a child’s life.
“Teachers, if we’re lucky, get in-school support regarding literacy and math, but not ongoing, embedded professional development regarding culturally responsive teaching and learning. I think part of the problem is we tend to parent the way we were parented. We tend to parent by default so unless we’re intentional about changing the way we think about parenting, we will just replicate patterns, hopefully positive, but sometimes negative. I think that same thing is true of teaching, that we tend to teach the way that we were taught unless we’re intentional about changing the way we think about teaching” said Afrika.