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Community Building Circles! with Carmen Zeisler Resilient Schools 34 Episode 34

Community Building Circles! with Carmen Zeisler Resilient Schools 34

· 33:16

  • Three types of circles: Community Circles, Academic Circles, and Restorative Circles
  • Conflict is a natural part of life, as adults and as kids, we just avoid it. 
  • We’re not going to talk about it or you’re suspended. 
  • Talking about repairing harm
  • Belonging to Safety and Dignity. The people in the circle are there to support them. 
  • Consistently doing community circle work. 
  • Doing circle work just for discipline makes it really hard. 
  • Example about girl drama and 4th-grade drama. 
  • Circles part of everyday activities made it possible to prevent further issues. 
  • Students have a place to bring up issues. 
  • Why take the time for circles? 
  • As an educator, I’m going to spend my time somewhere
  • We think kids know how to solve problems, but they don’t always and they need teaching. 
  • Social Media is an example of how to not solve an issue. 
  • Time and space to learn conflict resolution
  • Structure of a circle meeting. 
  • Get your flow of a circle meeting and stay with your flow. 
  • Opening activity (Mindfulness, poem, quote, song)
  • Values round (reviewing our values or bringing certain values to the circle)
  • Round 1: check-in: Are you mad, sad, glad, afraid? 
  • Round 2: What is your focus? Academic, Community, Restorative?
  • Closing: A way to bring everyone together and clarify where they’re at. Expression of gratitude. 
  • Children’s literature with circles (reading a children’s book)
  • Mindfulness moment to close out our time. 
  • Are we ready to make a decision? 
  • Never require someone to be a part of a circle. 
  • Students who are long-term suspended or expelled, need to be a transition process in place for them. Reentry circle to make the transition more effective. 
  • People are not one-dimensional. 
  • Bridging to Resilience Conference - Register Here. November 6-8 2023 in Wichita, KS
  • 7 sessions each time there is a breakout. 

About Carmen Zeisler

Carmen Zeisler is the Director of the ESSDACK Learning Centers, an Educational Consultant/Coach, and a co-founding member of the ESSDACK Resilience Team. In Learning Centers, she has been instrumental in leading a Redesign process through Project-Based Learning.
In schools, Carmen loves collaborating with teachers on Trauma-Informed practices and she leads The Restorative Justice in Schools effort on the ESSDACK Resilience Team. Her other passion as a Consultant and Coach is supporting teachers to build a strong reading culture in their classroom. One of her favorite ways to do this is to use picture books with science and social studies to make these content areas come alive for students!
Carmen has traveled the world as a teacher. She spent ten years in Mexico at the American Institute of Monterrey teaching 9th and 10th grade English literature and helped build the gifted and talented program that was used as a model for all of the state of Nuevo Leon. Carmen fell in love with the Mexican culture through language, food, dance, music, and people. 
She started getting antsy and wanted a new adventure so she headed off to Brasilia, Brazil where she spent three years at the American School of Brazil teaching kindergarten. During this time, she had students from 16 different countries in one classroom! Her time in Brazil left her with a passion for writing and languages. 
She landed back home in McPherson, KS where she taught for 10 years prior to coming on board at ESSDACK. Carmen has been to 33 countries and loves infusing her travels into her teaching. 
Carmen’s is a natural at building relationships with students and teachers so that she can then ask powerful questions that help ignite passions! 
Carmen’s passion is building relationships with students and teachers so that she can then ask questions to help guide them in finding their passions!

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Creators and Guests

Jethro Jones
Jethro Jones
Author of #SchoolX #how2be Co-Founder of @bepodcastNet, the best education podcasts out there.


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