In the Circle

Our senior trainer Marieke van Woerkom shares her insights on circles and other restorative practices. 

July 5, 2017
The other day I was asked about a situation that an advisor and her group of 10th graders had been struggling with all year.   While the advisor was relatively new to the school, the students had…
December 23, 2016
When I was in Ohio a few weeks back, I visited four different middle schools that recently started implementing circles. I had been asked to do some modeling, so that teachers and counselors who were…
December 19, 2016
A few weeks ago in Ohio, several of the teachers I was coaching raised a concern I've heard before. It's about handling student emotions in a circle. "Was it safe to raise emotional issues in a…
July 19, 2016
The news of the police shootings in Dallas on July 6 was still unfolding Friday morning, as I was getting ready to co-facilitate a restorative circle with colleagues at Morningside Center. The circle…
March 20, 2016
"Everyone is needed for what they bring" is one of the seven core assumptions of restorative circles. We all have stories, perspectives and ideas to enrich each other's lives.  In circles, we are all…
February 25, 2016
Note:  This is the final post in a 3-part series on Trusting the Process. The series describes a four-day training session on restorative circles with a group of around 20 school staff members, some…
February 17, 2016
Note:  This is Part 2 of a 3-part blogpost. The series describes a 4-day training session on restorative circles with a group of around 20 staff members from a school, some of whom had reservations…
February 8, 2016
This is Part 1 of a 3-part blogpost.   The circle process is powerful, transformative at times, but it can also be challenging and time-consuming. For teachers, sharing of themselves in a circle…
April 28, 2015
Introducing mindfulness into the middle school classroom has been an interesting endeavor for me this year.  Mindful awareness (attending to the here and now, being fully present, with intention and…
April 15, 2015
I was working in Warren recently, a city hard hit by layoffs and shutdowns in the Ohio Rust Belt. One of the 8th grade teachers asked me if I could model a circle in her classroom. She was interested…