Why on earth did Adam write ‘Restoring Teaching’?
A passionate, emotionally intelligent and experienced teacher speaks candidly about the growing gap between what teachers are made to do and what they know would actually help their students learn. This important and highly readable book should be devoured by everyone who cares about the way we are educating our children for an increasingly challenging future.
Our students, parents and staff have thoroughly appreciated drawing on Adam’s expertise over the past three years. The value he places on relationships and the power of empathy in responding to challenging behaviours makes sense for our students and for our community. This book presents a readable and engaging explanation of Restorative Practices with practical examples to help teachers create and model a culture where young people can navigate difficult emotions in life-giving ways.
Adam Voigt sat with me and shared the content of Chapter 13 – and I listened with tears in my eyes. Any loss of life is tragic, a tragedy that’s multiplied by the years not lived. The final chapter goes to the heart of why this book matters, it screams from the rooftops that all kids matter and it’s our job as a society to give kids every chance of success. Every chance of living better, longer, free-er lives than us. Restorative teaching is the future of education. And restoring the historically respected role of teachers is our present challenge.
When Chapter One is titled This Shit has to Stop, you know you are in for a worthy, practical and authentic read. For the past three years, Adam has brought inspiration, enthusiasm and a sense of urgency to our school as we’ve built a truly restorative culture. No story from the floor ever stopped him in his tracks. In fact, he always finds a way to value, empathise and then provide a nudge in the right direction. The advice and thinking in this book is an illustration of that journey, written in a way that every teacher and school leader can both enjoy and enact.
Adam has been instrumental in partnering with Kananook Primary School to develop and sustain a positive school culture. Once in the state’s worst five schools for alerts and ugly incidents, we are now recognised widely for our calm, supportive and inclusive learning environment. Our school’s journey of transformation is mapped in the pages of this book in such a way that others can now follow it. Thank you Adam – on both a personal and professional level – for helping us to be the best we can be.
Adam reminds us in this inspiring, practical book of the immense power of moments. Through stories that speak straight to the heart, Adam weaves a restorative approach that is built on a belief in the inherent good of all students. It reminds us of our ability and responsibilities as educators to choose responses that will have positive ripples beyond the classroom. As a book on how to undertake a restorative approach in schools it is a masterful explanation of a framework that has been proven to work in many schools throughout Australia. Lastly, but by no means least, Adam reminds of the importance of teaching and teachers in the landscape of a caring and humane society.