Read Me

Shining the Light on JOY

Kids Light up books Australia

Joy is a deep-seated emotion that comes not from things that happen to you but from a choice that we make to be happy. Joyful learning looks like being happy, engaged in what they are doing, and in charge of their actions and emotions.

When I’m Shining with Joy teaches specifically what the emotion of joy feels like and looks like and acknowledges that it goes away when things go wrong.

We acknowledge that things do go wrong, this picture story book picks up principles from the Restorative Practice approach from which parents and teachers can base discussions on how to restore relationship.

What is Restorative Practice?

‘Restorative Practice is a new field of study that integrates developments from a variety of disciplines and fields including education, psychology, social work, criminology, sociology, organisational development – in order to build healthy communities, increases social capital, decrease crime and antisocial behaviour, repair harm and restore relationship.’ – Watchel, 1999.

Why do we recommend a restorative approach?

  • Fits in with the idea of bringing reconciliation to people when things go wrong. Allows for teaching about Christ’s example of restoration and God’s forgiveness.
  • Encourages students to be active participants in discipline, not just passive receivers.
  • Helps build resilience because it encourages personal responsibility and problem solving
  • Is more respectful to students
  • Develops relationships, not strains them. Builds community.

What does a restorative approach aim to do?

  • A restorative approach aims to teach children concepts of accountability, responsibility and empathy. RP emphasises that breaking rules or doing wrong breaks relationships and affects many people, not only points out that what the child has done is wrong.
  • RP looks for the reason behind the behaviour and goes to the root of the problem.
  • RP includes a plan for restoring damage done.
  • RP puts the responsibility of restoration on to the wrong-doer. (You mucked it up, you need to fix it up)
  • RP is about power with, not power over.
  • RP sees wrongdoing as an opportunity for learning and growing, not just as a crime.
  • RP leaves the person disciplined feeling empowered and hopefully remorseful instead of angry and resentful

Four Steps

There are four main steps to remember when implementing Restorative Practice:

The Past

  • What happened?
  • We help children identify what went wrong, and understand that the child is not the problem, the problem is the problem.
  • I’m sorry for… The child takes responsibility for what happened. This is an important step. Help children to be specific to show that you understand what they are upset about.

The Present

  • How is the other person affected?
  • We help children identify their own and other children’s emotions. We say, “look at his face? What does this tell you? He is sad…”
  • This was wrong because… Help children show the person you understand how they feel.

The Future

  • How can we fix this?
  • We help children apologise and implement consequences that will help restore the relationship or situation.
  • In the future, I will… state what you WILL do to help restore the problem. Focus on the positive.

What Next

  • Will you forgive me? This is important to work towards restoring the relationship. How can we make sure this doesn’t happen again?