This week is the beginning of the second semester, I had the opportunity to "listen to the teachers" in a focus group meeting who were so encouraging and reaffirming, reminding me of the reason I teach Peacekeeper circles. They were excited about how "listening to the children" is changing their classroom climate and culture by using Peacekeeper language.

The teachers are noticing that they can teach with less disruption and playground duties are getting easier because the children are using the skills taught in Peacekeeper, beyond the circle. When needed teachers help students resolve conflict in their relationships by simply reminding them to use their Peacekeeper skills, which they are proficiently accessing.

This school has committed to using the Peacekeeper model in all classrooms school wide and very quickly there is genuine interest in how the school climate will be in 2,3,4, and 5 years down the road. We are all excited to witness how the children will be affected who are now in 1st grade because they will continue practicing the skills for all 5 years of their elementary education.

This is the first school to embrace the Peacekeeper model school wide. Several teachers commented about how because these children are learning to speak and listen from the heart, they are already becoming more compassionate, respectful and kind people. The teachers also felt that because they can genuinely express from their hearts too, it gives them equality and genuine respect with their students.

Teachers are noticing children playing with others not previously included in playground games. They are witnessing students resolve conflict quickly with a simple reminder to use the skills. An independent conflict resolution interaction between students translates into less interference by the teacher. Teachers shared their amazement at how the kids are requesting circle and assume it’s because they feel safe sharing needs and feelings and want to solve issues quickly. They’re reporting how students express feeling of relief when able to repair harm and move on and restore their friendships once again.

If you are interested in hearing more about peacekeeper circles please enjoy the radio interview on the home page.

Fort Collins, Colorado

KIRI SAFTLER

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