IIRP Latin America always get the best photos. In the past couple days they've posted two albums to facebook with students young and old.
IIRP Latin America's director Jean Schmitz explains, regarding the first set, that in 2012 his organization, an IIRP international affiliate, trained approximately 35 teachers at Ramón Espinoza Public School. The school is located in a poor suburb of Lima called Barrios Altos. A year later, Jean says, around a quarter of the teachers regularly apply restorative practices with their students.
These photos show teacher Pilar Parra using circles with her kindergarten class. Every day she does short circles with kids 3 to 4 years of age who are happy and involved. Pilar never spends more that 5 minutes doing circles in order to keep the kids' attention. "The kids themselves prepare the circle... they just love it," writes Jean. The children choose a talking piece, too.
Mainly these are proactive circle for kids to get to know each other better. Questions include talking about what they like about school or about their neighbors, or what games they like best. They also talk about their suggestions for relating to one another, that they need to be kind, helpful, respectful, etc. Sometimes, too, they make suggestions for what activities they would like to do in school that day.
The complete set of these photos may be found here.
The second set of photographs shows groups of teenaged students from another school in the same neighborhood. Mrs. Zoila invited IIRP Latin America to observe and participate in a talking circle one day a few months ago. Jean writes, "We were positively surprised and very pleased to see teens participate
actively and with good humor, responding to a few questions posed to the group."
One question addressed in the circle was, "Can you
say something about how circles have helped in your classroom?" Responses from the students included: "They let us talk," "We can solve our own problems," "They allow us to know each other better," "They help us improve our relationships," "They help us resolve our conflicts," "We can talk about different topics," etc.
The second set of photographs may be found here.