Re-Entry Conversations: A Restorative Narrative Practice for Student Reintegration

John M Winslade, Michael J. Williams

Abstract

When a student returns to school after a suspension, he or she often returns to class as if nothing has happened. The hope is that the student will have learned from the experience and will make required behavioral changes but this is largely left up to chance. Re-entry conversations are an attempt to make learning from a particular experience less haphazard.  This article maps out a template for such a conversation. It is intended to be facilitated by school counselors. The article includes a story to illustrate this approach in action. The conversation illustrated is marked by an attempt to inquire into the the hopes of the student rather than to pathologize him or require his compliance with the school’s hopes for him.

Keywords

suspension; stand-down; expulsion; exclusion; restorative practice; re-entry conversations; narrative

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