Posted on Leave a comment

An Indigenous grandmother’s description of a Winnipeg restitution school:

An Indigenous grandmother’s description of a Winnipeg restitution school:

“When my son started at your school he had already had a challenging journey. You took him under your wings. You created a safe place for him and had a way with words to calm him. You sincerely cared for your students and families. You have left permanent marks on so many lives.”

Posted on

Gordon Campbell

In the late 1990’s I was fortunate to attend a two day session with Dianne Gossen on Restitution. As a grade six teacher at the time I found this one of the most insightful, practical and useful professional development sessions I ever attended. Although I had taught for many years Dianne helped me understand why children ( and all of us for that matter) make the mistakes we do and that it is how we go about correcting those mistakes that is the true learning. As a school principal I encouraged my staff to work with Dianne and to get a deeper understanding of Restitution. I believe that our staff learning together with Dianne over a period of years made the teachers more compassionate and understanding of children’s behaviours. The climate of the school became more positive and even the teachers relationships with the parent community improved because we all learned to believe in kids, realizing that some of the most profound learning comes from mistakes that we make. Teachers were no longer “ punishers” but partners in helping children learn. Restitution is one of the greatest professional learning opportunities a teacher or school administrator could attend.