Frente de Escuela.jpg

Above Photo: Circles with Montessori School Students in an Andean Outdoor Classroom 2009/ Loja, Ecuador







Workshop Goals: 

Part A. Through singing, rhythmic speech, body percussion and movement, participants gain experience and develop instincts for making music in a joyful and accessible way.


Part B. Restoratively, the sharing of the Core Circle Comfort Agreements will:  Improve classroom teamwork, cooperation and efficiency. Strengthens student interests and retention. Helps students and teachers connect to their work. Builds trust and companionship in the classroom. Helps maximize individual potential of all students. Offers an effective means of de-escalating conflicts.

Restorative Communication Circles with youth

Core Circle Principles

Circles honor both the uniqueness of each individual and the emergence of the collective.

All are equal in circle; leadership is shared.

 'I' statements are strongly encouraged to improve communication habits. Phrasing one's thoughts into “I” statements helps communication go smoothly because it lessens the chances the listener will feel attacked.

Safe space is created by speaking from the heart, eye contact and active listening to understand while suspending  judgement. 

Phones are turned off. 

Listening is directed both to individuals who are speaking, and also to the themes, connections, collective wisdom that is emerging within the created by the circle.

Silence is a significant strategy- Periods of silence allow for individuals to integrate their experience, and to stay grounded and engaged.

The Circle forms a container that can safely “hold” conflicting viewpoints and diverse perspectives.

Circle Values create a quality of engagement with one another that is respectful, non-judgmental, and appreciative.

Participants in the circle share common 


Why is it important for youth to experience Empathy Circles?

The Circle is an operational symbol of inclusion, intentional communication, emergence, equality and community. The circle setting establishes respectful guidelines and expectations to create a safe relational space and place where participants can talk openly and actively listen with eye contact. 


Empathy Circle Practice 
Restorative Communication in the Indoor and Outdoor Classroom

Music and Empathy Circles
with Youth and Educators

"Where Music and Empathy Converge in the Brain: 
A new study suggests that people who are highly empathic
process music differently in their brains." -link to article


Restorative Communication
Circles at Maple Grove and
Drummond Central Elementary
Schools' indoor and
outdoor classrooms 

Above:  Laurie hosts an Early Childhood Educator Workshop at Algonquin College (Perth Campus) to assist ECEs in the adoption of restorative communication practices in the indoor
and  outdoor classroom.
Above : Calling a restorative communication circle as a core routine in the outdoor classroom with the Early childhood Education Program, Algonquin College- Perth Campus.

Acknowledging First Nations Pedagogy - Talking Circle

"Talking Circles or Circle Talks are a foundational approach to First Nations pedagogy-in-action since they provide a model for an educational activity that encourages dialogue, respect, the co-creation of learning content, and social discourse. The nuance of subtle energy created from using this respectful approach to talking with others provides a sense of communion and interconnectedness that is not often present in the common methods of communicating in the classroom. When everyone has their turn to speak, when all voices are heard in a respectful and attentive way, the learning atmosphere becomes a rich source of information, identity, and interaction." (Reference: