On Friday, as part of professional development for teachers throughout Baltimore City, OSI-Baltimore organized restorative practices training for all 150 English Learner (EL) teachers in the district. Restorative practices, in particular restorative circles, help lift up student voices and build positive relationships. OSI and city schools are working together to integrate restorative practices into all city schools over the next three to five years.
The goal of prioritizing restorative practices training for these teachers is to provide immigrant students with safe spaces in schools. These safe spaces will help these students cope with the animosity and resulting fear that many experience in their schools and/or communities–which has risen precipitously since the 2016 election season. Restorative practices can also help EL students increase language proficiency and form meaningful relationships with teachers and classmates.
Earlier last week OSI hosted a train-the-trainers session for those leading the half-day professional development session on Friday.