An Article to Support Restorative Writing

by Lori Lee 1 year, 7 months ago

I saw this article today and thought it spoke to many of the things this group discussed around restorative writing. What speaks to you?

Incorporating Grace In Today’s Classrooms

            In this Chronicle of Higher Education article, Nicole Else-Quest, Viji Sathy, and Kelly Hogan (University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill) say that “compassion and kindness are foundational to effective teaching” – especially now, with the stress and trauma experienced by so many students during the pandemic. Here are the authors’ suggestions, many of which apply to K-12 classrooms:

            • Focus on the highest-priority learning objectives. “Maybe you can’t do all the things on your list,” say Else-Quest, Sathy, and Hogan, “but you can do many of them really well.” Build in pauses to allow students to catch up and understand what’s most important. 

            • Link course content to students’ values and goals. This might include essays and other assignments in which students say how the subject matter connects to their own lives and issues they care about. It’s also helpful to say why you yourself care about what’s being studied and how you got excited about it. 

            • Show that you care about students and help them feel connected and welcome. “Don’t assume they know,” say Else-Quest, Sathy, and Hogan; “be explicit and genuine.” Say that you know their personal well-being is closely tied to academic success. Regularly check in to see if adjustments need to be made to support their learning. 

            • Reimagine classroom culture. Especially now, students want and need human connection. Build in opportunities for collaboration, student-led discussions, peer review, and personal sharing.

            • Give students grace through reasonable flexibility. This includes submission of assignments, attendance and tardiness, and class participation. The ultimate goal is learning, not compliance. 

            • Model taking care of yourself. Students can learn from your example. “Set boundaries to support your own well-being and prevent burnout,” say the authors – regular work hours, limits on e-mail time, and asking for help yourself. 

            • Make sure students know where to find help in a crisis. Key information might be in the syllabus, class website, lab manual, or personal communication. Possible resources: school counselors, the CDC’s stress-management suggestions, the Crisis Text Line (HOME to 741-741), and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK).


“Give Students the Grace We All Need” by Nicole Else-Quest, Viji Sathy, and Kelly Hogan in The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 18, 2022 (Vol. 68, #12, pp. 68-69); the authors are at, and