May 15, 2020

My heart hurts, my stomach feels tight as I read news headlines this week… Racist reactions to Canadians of Asian descent are increasing across the country, the killing in Nova Scotia began as domestic abuse, the number of women and children killed/abused is increasing. It touches me personally when I hear from international students that they suffer thro...

May 13, 2020

It has now been about 2 months since we were sent home to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. At the time, the transition to teaching using video-conferencing and finishing up the semester preoccupied my time and kept me as busy or busier than usual. Like most, I followed the reaction to this mandate on FB, intrigued by the sudden proliferation of i...

November 16, 2019

Dr. Dorothy Vaandering is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University, St. John’s, NL and is Director of Relationships First - Restorative Justice, NL.

November is a month in which Canada and NL highlight the progress of restorative justice.   In St. John’s we’ve had several opportunities already to do this.   On Nov. 5, Dr. Jenn...

November 1, 2019


The term play-based learning refers “to the learning and/or the activities that a student is experiencing in a play-based environment” (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2016, p. 3). Within this pedagogical approach students are not able to progress through play if they are expected to discover everything on their own. This makes the teacher’s rol...

October 28, 2019

 Second BB photo credited to: Villanova Junior High in NL.

Relationships First

Restorative Justice Education




If our schools and office spaces are to truly reflect the spirit of relationships first and restorative justice in educa...

October 18, 2019

This past year has really helped me to explore my nurturing and empathetic side.  I am so grateful for this! I have struggled in the past with forming those meaningful connections with students and I discovered that it was something in me that needed to change.   I needed to be more brave, more vulnerable, more empathetic, and have a more genuine understa...

August 18, 2019

Book Review by Bethany Ann Pretty

Blog Editor: Mark Barry

The Little Book of Restorative Justice was written by Howard Zehr in 2002 by Good Books publishing in Pennsylvania, in the United States of America and is seventy-one pages in length, including appendices and endnotes.

Known as the “Grandfather of Restorative Justice” (Zehr, 2002), Howard Zehr, a midd...

August 18, 2019

Blog Writer: Cavell Smith-Mason

Blog Editor: Mark Barry

As educators and role models, we cannot manage students or their behavior, despite the overwhelming pressure from various stakeholders to do so. In my career as an educator, teachers have been responsible for addressing severe, ongoing behavior of students through the use of a Behavior Management Plan....

August 18, 2019

Book Review Writer: Renee Farrell

Blog Editor: Mark Barry


Gardner, T. W. (2016). Discipline over punishment: successes and struggles with restorative justice in schools. Lanham, Maryland: Rowan & Littlefield.

Gardner (2016) writes from a perspective of almost 20 years of urban high school classroom teaching experience in the US. G...

August 11, 2019

For August, #RFBookClub has chosen to highlight the collective works of Alfie Kohn.  As teachers and students prepare to go back into the classrooms next month, Kohn invites teachers to rethink ideas surrounding discipline, punishments and rewards.   His educational philosophy is closely connected with the tenets of Restorative Justice Education and putti...

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