Ask the Keeper

In Ask the Keeper, our senior trainer and staff developer Marieke van Woerkom answers your questions about restorative circles and other restorative practices. Send us your questions about restorative practices, including about particular challenges you’re facing as you use these approaches in your school. Tell us what’s happening, and we’ll do our best to help!  

May 12, 2017
Question:   Recently in a circle, we had a very “heavy” sharing.  I was struggling to balance respectfully listening and appreciating participants' sharing and reflections. Then it got even heavier…
January 26, 2017
Question:   We've been doing circles at my school as a study skills course since the start of the year. It's been challenging when students act out, not respecting the talking piece. It impacts the…
November 6, 2016
Question:   We've been doing circles at my school as a study skills course since the start of the year. It's been challenging when students pass, pass, and pass again. This passing seems to get…
October 26, 2016
Question:  Our students do circles once a week on our special Friday schedule. I haven't run any of them because I am teaching at that time. I've seen them done very well, but in some circles…
October 22, 2016
Question: We've experimented with different circle sizes, and I believe there is such a thing as too big a circle. What do you think is an ideal size for circles? – Xioel Terrero, school counselor…
October 7, 2016
Question:  This is our third year using circles as part of our middle school after-school program. We've had some powerful experiences in circles and it's really helped strengthen our community. But…
September 19, 2016
Many educators come to our Restore360 trainings interested in new ways to handle disciplinary issues in school. They may have found the punitive approach doesn’t work particularly well and want to…
September 8, 2016
Restorative circles have transformative power: They can create community where none existed before. They can connect students to each other and to the rest of the school community in meaningful ways…
September 8, 2016
In our feature Ask the Keeper, senior trainer and staff developer Marieke van Woerkom answers your questions about restorative circles and related practices in schools.  Send your questions to: …