I realized that I was probably finally beginning to understand the notion of Circles when I realized I was tensing up as I was reading. I was imagining myself a participant. That such a practice frightens me does not deter me; it only serves to help persuade me that the notion of Restorative Justice, dependent as it is on the notion of Circles, is what we, as educators, have to embrace. And some of my tension came from my growing realization that the work will be as slow and as hard as it will be necessary.
I also became convinced I was gaining some level of understanding because I noticed that I was paying more attention to individual words and to assumptions (some of which I’d like to discuss with Ms. Pranis).
If you’re interested in Restorative Justice, this, I think, is the place to begin.