Principals living restorative practices: A journey of Hope, Passion, and Justice
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Restorative practices are more than school processes; they are lived experiences. This auto-ethnographic research chronicles the journey of three principals during their first year of implementing restorative practices on their respective campuses. Using the ecologies of knowing: self, organization, and community as a framework along with dialogue and storytelling as method, six findings emerged: a) the degree and speed with which RP are implemented at a campus is dependent on the readiness, consciousness, and commitment to Restorative Leadership; b) overcoming obstacles to implementation of RP requires a shift in mindset and strategic planning; c) implementing RP requires changing the vocabulary used, a commitment to implementing restorative systems, and the integration of circles as pedagogy; d) sustainability of RP requires opportunities for dialogue and practice, a focus on continuous improvement and evolvement of Restorative Systems, a process for evaluating the impact on culture and climate, and being patient with the process of transformation; e) the emergence of a Restorative Community is dependent on the leader and organization’s effort to educate and include the community in RP; f) storytelling and Restorative Dialogue can be used as method for understanding what RP are and the impact it can have in making sustainable change in the lives of individuals, organizations, and communities. Implications, suggestions, a proposed implementation plan, and recommendations for future research are included.