Restoring Relationships

Ann Marie Taylor

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Ann Marie Taylor presents: Restoring Relationships and Building Better Humans

Schools and teachers dealing with behavior issues and bullying are constantly searching for new and effective ways to handle it all. One concept that has been making headway in recent years is restorative justice. But what is restorative justice, and what does it take to make it work in schools? Restorative justice is an alternative approach to school discipline that emphasizes bringing together those who have caused and experienced harm and providing all parties with equal attention. It is an approach based more on talking and listening than on delivering consequences. Teachers who use restorative discipline practices find that behavior in their classroom improves dramatically. They have better relationships with their students and therefore less stress from unresolved conflicts. Statistics show that using restorative practices keeps kids in school. Punitive systems often remove students from the classroom, even for minor offenses. With restorative justice, everyone works together to keep kids in the classroom where they can learn. Children who are expelled from school often end up in what education reform activists call the “school-to-prison pipeline.” Restorative justice wants to stop this cycle and keep kids on track with their education. This session will help you understand the why behind this movement and the logistics to make it happen.

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Ann Marie Taylor

Ann Marie Taylor began her college education studying Criminal Justice at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan. Once she began working with juvenile offenders she realized that many of her young charges were struggling with special education needs. It was this realization that inspired her to become a special education teacher – believing that she could have a greater impact by reaching these children long before they got off track.

An adventurous spirit, Ann Marie decided to get her master’s degree in special education at Francis Marion University in South Carolina. She began teaching in 2000 at McLaurin Elementary School in Florence and while she was working at Pine Tree Hill Elementary in Camden she earned the title of 2008 South Carolina Teacher of the Year – the first special educator to ever receive this honor.

In 2008, Ann Marie became Nationally Board Certified and she also received the Woman of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of America. In 2009, she was awarded the Educator Leadership Award from Francis Marion University. In 2018, Ann Marie earned the title of PSTA’s Educator Service Award winner. Currently, Ann Marie serves as the Lead Learner of Horse Creek Academy Public Charter School in Aiken, SC where she is re-inventing public education.

The rest, as they say, is history. You only have to be in Ann Marie’s presence for a few minutes to discover that she is exuberant about life, passionate about teaching, and devoted to special education students.