For School Staff Meetings
Based entirely on new research about the brain and the efficacy of restorative practices in education, we’ve designed 5 Radical Minutes for School Staff Meetings to connect each staff member with every colleague over time in a compassionate, mindful, and meaningful way.
Improve Classroom and School Climate
It is much more difficult to be unkind to someone when you know their story. 5 Radical Minutes addresses school safety and prevention by promoting connectedness between students, their peers, and school staff.
Students bring their problems to school with them, which affects classroom climate for everyone. Youth often keep a range of problems quietly hidden from adults who could help. Some face depression, others may cope with cutting or self-harm, and many have families in the midst of separation or divorce. Students with these kinds of challenges can feel increasingly isolated. They have no idea that others feel challenged as well.
5 Radical Minutes connects youth in meaningful ways. Students find commonalities and learn to support one another with understanding and compassion, which contributes to improved classroom and school climate. And teachers appreciate increased teaching time due to fewer disruptions.
Increase Staff Comradery
Designed to increase quality engagement among your staff, 5 Radical Minutes for Staff activities can be used in your weekly staff and department-level meetings.
We’ve designed the prompts for the paired sharing activities to reinforce concepts and language used by the 5 Radical Minutes program in the classroom. Just as in the classroom, you’ll invite quieter ones out of their comfort zones and into closer relationships with the full range of other staff members. In just these five minute activities during each meeting, staff members will discover things in common with one another while sharing insights about how the program is working for them.
Transform Discipline into Making Kids Whole Again
5 Radical Minutes integrates restorative practices into classrooms. It replaces punishment and discipline with a program that engages students in a process that “makes them whole again.”
5 Radical Minutes promotes speaking and listening in turn and without interruption in the classroom. This format translates beautifully into restorative practices and restorative justice. When the need for discipline arises, both teachers and administrators are encouraged to use the 5 Radical Minutes approach but without the time constraints. As a result, students can take ample time to give information and recount their behaviors. This is the moment problem solving begins! Once students gain insight into the consequences others have experienced, they can take responsibility for their actions. This process allows students to find ways to make amends and be “invited” back into the community of the classroom with a clean slate.
Cheri’s work in our New York City schools was transformative. This new program brings together exactly what is needed for every child in every school. Her vast experience in helping youth manage stress and anxiety, and bringing them together in exchanges of acceptance and compassion helps them with struggles we don’t even know they have.
Cheri Lovre is the embodiment of what she teaches. As a master communicator, with skill and compassion, she can help transform a school. During 9/11, 2001, I was Director of Pupil Personnel Services in the NYC school district, surrounding the World Trade Center. The advice, warmth and wisdom Cheri offered, while essential during crisis is needed everyday, in every school, facing the challenges and stressors of daily lives.
Using the 5 Radical Minutes program with my freshmen gave me a chance to include all students in the classroom activities. Students had a chance to interact with each other on a daily basis. Pairing students together allowed them to interact with students they might normally not interact with. It brought a level of comfort to the classroom that allowed all students to contribute to the classroom activities. The various topics of discussion kept the conversation fresh and allowed the students to add their own unique personality to the classroom.
Boost Schoolwide Fidelity
By using 5 Radical Minutes for School Staff in your staff meetings, you will reveal the simplicity and effectiveness of the program.
When fellow teachers or school staff share successes from techniques learned through the program, more teachers will dive in willingly. Without a doubt, this assures the highest benefit for the school as a whole. Even more, 5 Radical Minutes for Staff activities increase staff connectedness, which plays a big role in improving school climate.
Enjoy Trackable Metrics
When teachers use 5 Radical Minutes in their classrooms, they gain valuable metrics on its effectiveness. Quarterly teacher and student surveys take only 2 minutes to complete. These simple surveys will show the decreases in behavioral interruptions in the classrooms, leading to an increase in teaching time.
Get an Accurate Pulse of Classroom Climate
The 5 Radical Minutes for School Staff provides a window into each and every classroom. Weekly prompts during staff meetings allow you to identify strengths and positive outcomes. Additionally, you’ll discover any needs or frustrations.
Experience Positive Behavior Approach
5 Radical Minutes for School Staff teaches common language and an attitude of support.
Teachers and staff come alongside students and ask things like, “Let’s look at what happens right before you misbehave.” This approach gives students the opportunity to reflect on things without feeling judged. What’s more, this positive reinforcement trains teachers to focus on the behaviors they want rather than reacting to behavioral problems they don’t want.
5 Radical Minutes ties in seamlessly with Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS). Additionally, this form helps track office referrals so everyone involved can help youth change problem behaviors.
Provide Help for Struggling Students
Counselors can offer group interaction for youth who may have difficulty with the 5 Radical Minutes empathic connecting process.
Small group counseling sessions could foster meaningful engagement for those on the spectrum or others who find it difficult to maintain meaningful eye contact. Staff and peers may identify students who may be headed toward harming self and others. Students learn the difference in “ratting on someone” vs. finding support for peers because you care about them. 5 Radical Minutes provides the opportunity for intervention long before it is a major crisis at the doorstep of the school.
Need a little more information?
We’ve got you covered. Implementing change at a school or district level can be challenging, so we’ve added a few more details to help you understand the radical difference our program can make on your school climate.
Detailed Program Overview
Download a more detailed program overview that explains our three constants, how they work and their benefits. We also include tips on implementing 5 Radical Minutes in your school or district.
The Neuro-Biology of Kindness
Acts of compassion or love exercise the vagus nerve. Research shows us that individuals who have a high vagus nerve response will voluntarily help peers or more readily come to someone’s defense.
In 5 Radical Minutes for School Staff, staff receive brief instructions that help engage this nerve, relax the body, and listen from a place of kindness. This transformative program takes the positive outcomes from the mindfulness programs already popular in today’s culture and gives them life. All participants actually practice these positive skills in action in their relationships every day.
Check Out Our Parent Program
A supplemental parent program is available to teach parents how to listen to their children and provide a safe space for their children to speak their truths. This positive reinforcement at home will only enhance outcomes at school and increase resilience in your school youth.
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