Restitution & Control Theory Training Opportunities

Want to sharpen your tools?  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn and connect with others!

Restitution Seminar Brochure_2017 (002)

Restitution Seminar Brochure_WEB_2017

Hope to see you in August!



Growing Together


Every year since I first stumbled across Restitution, I’ve participated in the Restitution Summer Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  It’s a training session that is run at the end of August, and not only do I find that it helps gets me excited and motivated for the new school year, but the best part is connecting with a group of people who have similar ideas and beliefs.  I have met some of the most amazing people – some who have travelled from as far away as Iceland and India – and there is simply nothing like the energy that comes of sharing our stories and struggles and learning together.

Sound like something you might be interested in being a part of?

Truly – there is something for everyone!  There are many sessions being offered – from introductory sessions for those new to Restitution to advanced levels for those who have done training in the past.  There is even a facilitator training session for those who are interested in teaching these concepts to others.

Here’s how to get involved – simply click on the links below and you’ll find all the information you need:

Restitution Seminar Brochure 2016

Restitution Seminar Registration 2016

Facilitator Training Registration 2016

Hope to see you there!


Do You Make Those Around You Better?


Nothing I like better than to spend a Sunday evening watching my beloved Minnesota Vikings kick butt!  But this week, something other than just football caught my attention.

One of Teddy Bridgewater’s teammates was talking about what it’s like to play with him as the quarterback.  The line that caught me was when he explained that playing with Teddy made you want to be a better person.  He said that Teddy is always calm under pressure, and that watching the way he handles himself makes others want to do the same.

This made me think of a conversation I had with a leader who was sharing the frustration they have been experiencing with managing their staff.  He told me that he was seriously considering “giving people a taste of their own medicine” by treating them with the same lack of respect that they were showing to others.

What do you think the chances are that this strategy will cause his staff to wake up and realize the error of their ways?  I think it’s vastly more likely that disrespect will breed further disrespect.

I’ve heard the same theory applied to children’s behaviour, too.  It’s easy to slip into thinking that we can teach by causing someone else to feel as badly as they’ve made us feel.

The problem is that behaviour is driven by the pictures in our head.  If people don’t have a picture in their heads of how to be a positive force, they cannot achieve it.  In every interaction we have with others throughout our day, we have a choice to make.  Are we going to react to the situations around us, and justify our actions because of the challenge of a situation and the fact that “everyone else is doing it”?  Or will we choose to be like Teddy, and be a role model for others of how to handle yourself with grace and strength in spite of the stress of the situation?


Want to Learn More?

As all my teacher friends wrap things up and head to the beach this week, I know it’s difficult to even think about planning for next year….  so I apologize for this!

However, I know that by the end of every summer, my brain starts kicking into gear and thinking about all that I want to accomplish with my students in the upcoming year, and setting personal goals for myself with regards to improving my own practice.  One of the things that has been incredibly important in helping me with this is spending some time in reflection and discussion with like-minded people.  Restitution Summer Institute has been the place that has got me back in the game, motivated and excited to try new things.

There’s really something for everyone.  If you are brand-new to Restitution, there is an introductory course.  If you know the basics already, there are courses to help you apply Restitution principles to different situations – from implementing Restitution as a staff, to learning hands-on lesson plans for use in the classroom, to understanding the change process for Administrators.  If you really want to deepen your understanding, there’s Control Theory courses, which help you to move from “doing” Restitution to truly living it.  And if you are not in the education profession, but are a parent, foster parent, or social worker, there’s a Restitution for Parents course that applies all the principles to the home.

So, before you go enjoy your well-deserved holiday, consider joining us in August to share, learn, and have some fun together.  I’d love to see you there!

If you’d like more information on the sessions being offered, or would like to register, click on the links below:

Restitution for Parents Registration

Restitution & Control Theory Registration

Do You Practice What You Preach?

walk the talk

It never ceases to amaze me how often an inconsistency exists between what our stated beliefs are, and how we actually choose to behave.

We tell kids that mistakes are how we learn, and validate that they didn’t behave that way for no reason… but then we judge and roll our eyes at a colleague when they handle a difficult situation poorly.

We say that in our school we believe in respect… but we condescendingly shoot down a colleague’s idea at a staff meeting.

We say that we believe in life-long learning…. but when the principal presents a new initiative, we disengage and refuse to participate because we are already too busy trying to get through the day.

This is why it’s so important for staff to come together as a group and reflect on what our core values are, and evaluate our actions. It’s very easy to get caught up in the moment and react, rather than look inside ourselves and think about our values and beliefs, and allow those to guide us.

And if that’s what we want our kids to do, shouldn’t we do the same?

Taking Down Fences

Have you ever tried to introduce a new initiative only to be met by groans and rolling eyes, instead of the excitement and motivation that you were hoping for? It can be a discouraging thing when you are passionate about improvement, and you are surrounded by people who are lazy naysayers who either actively undermine your efforts, or sit back and wait for you to fail so that they can say “I told you so!”

But are these folks really the terrible people that we think they are?

The second side of the Restitution Triangle tells us to validate the need that is behind people’s behaviour. People don’t do things for no reason – and when we understand the reasons, more effective solutions appear. Instead of simply telling a child to “stop” when they hit another child, we are much more effective when we understand that the child hit because he wanted his friend to listen to him, and we ask “Is what you did to make him listen working? Is there a way you could get your ideas heard and still be a kind person?”

And yet, when it comes to dealing with colleagues, instead of seeking the need that is behind their behaviour, we tend to label their behaviour as lazy, unmotivated or unintelligent.

If we apply the same thinking to our colleagues’ behaviour as we do to our kids’ behaviour, we will find that there is purpose in their reticence to new initiatives. I know that I’ve been caught before when I’ve plowed ahead with a new idea, only to find out that I’ve dismantled something without realizing the impact my actions have had.

dont take down the fence

Perhaps instead of seeing our colleagues as difficult, we should seek to understand their hesitancy. If we respect that they might have a perspective that can inform us, we can make more effective changes without the unintended consequences that can occur when we only consider one viewpoint. Similar to the way we can help that child find a way to meet competing needs, perhaps there is a way to say “How can we find a way to address your concerns, and still move forward and make things better?”

Perhaps those people who annoy you so much are your most valuable resource.

Inspiration vs. Coercion

see the light

How motivated are you when you are asked to do something that you see no point to doing?

I hear people say all the time that they wish people would just do what they are told, and not question everything.  It takes too long to explain; we just want people to comply.  But the reality is that when we feel something is worthwhile and important, we are motivated to do it.  The time it takes to help people understand and “see the light” actually saves time in the long run.

When we try to control people, we have to spend a lot of time and energy to have them “feel the heat”.  We need to supervise.  We need to provide rewards and consequences to ensure compliance.

And on top of all that, coercion can destroy relationships.  We tend to push back and say “You can’t make me!”  Even when we know that what we are being asked to do might be reasonable, no one likes being pushed around and threatened.

How much energy do you put into inspiring people vs. ensuring compliance?