Chris Boretskii, coordinator of the CSF Buxmont Pottstown School, talks about Pottstown’s social studies teacher, Michael Packard, as an example.
“His classes are almost exclusively taught in a circle,” says Chris. This makes it an expectation that every student will contribute. Students are engaged to participate this way in discussions of current events and history.
"We don’t allow kids to be invisible,” adds Chris. “Everyone has to participate and be verbal. This creates confidence and boosts kids' self-esteem, which can't help but improve their academic performance."
Michael takes the restorative concept of participation and engagement further. He prepares students for tests in a circle, asking them to come up with some pertinent questions to ask in tests.
And the kids love it. Says one student, “Circles make me feel more involved because I am able talk a lot easier. I think if we weren’t in a circle other kids wouldn’t want to participate.”