Community Circles Help Build Sense of Community in the Classroom

Teachers are introducing community circles and restorative practices into their classrooms, and are already seeing positive results in collaboration and peer relationships. 

Secondary school teachers who are teaching Understanding Contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Voices were invited to participate in training to help introduce community circles and restorative practices into their classrooms. 

The program was developed in consultation with local Indigenous community partners and is designed to promote positive behaviour and a sense of belonging.

Teachers use community-building circles to build classroom community and relationships between students to promote positive behaviour. They also use restorative approaches to repair relationships when harm has been done. Students who are provided with intentional opportunities to build healthy relationships with their peers and are part of supportive environments are less likely to engage in or be victims of bullying.

On the second day of training approaching Pink Shirt Day, teachers participating in the program reported seeing increased engagement and collaboration among students, and the development and strengthening of positive peer relationships. 

“When we think about Pink Shirt Day, we think about belonging, we think about mattering” said Kyle Herbert, First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education Consultant. “In terms of what the pink shirt highlights, those students all put pink shirts on to support their peer, to show support and to show community. That’s really what the crux of the program is, its highlighting community building and really how that impacts student well-being.” 

Watch the video to hear how this practice is helping to create more positive relationships among students and build a sense of community in the classroom. 

All students in York Region District School Board take Understanding Contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Voices as their required Grade 11 English credit. Learn more about this course. 




News Release