"The essence is to get engaged, eyeball-to-eyeball, and to be definite- so that children can state their case but are also made to listen to yours. This is quite the opposite of the techniques of isolation, star charts and mechanical means which Fifties' psychology turned up. Children do not need more remoteness. They need you to get involved."
Steve Biddulph - Manhood
I have had the privilege of working with Bill over the last few years in different school settings and have been part of professional learning led by Bill on ‘Circle Time’, ‘Restorative Practices’, ‘Creating a New School Vision’ and ‘Supporting Student Behaviours’ to name but a few!
I invited Bill to work with the staff at Our Lady of Grace School during 2013 and with his guidance, we have started to write a new narrative for the way we work with and support the young people in our school.
Bill has an infectious way of sharing his passion, insights and wisdom. Bill cares, he wants to see your school - the students, the teachers and staff and the families - working together to provide a safe, firm and fair environment for all in the school community. Above all, Bill keeps the dignity of others at the core of his work.
Bill is able to share his knowledge and experience with others in a way that is “real”. Bill doesn’t pretend to be the “fount of all knowledge” and has worked in partnership with me to create professional learning experiences that are suitable to the needs of the staff and the students.
I love working with Bill and know that he is very much a part of the journey we are on at Our Lady of Grace School.
Our Lady of Grace School
This day came at a great time for our school as we had implemented RP some time ago but since then some teachers had left, others had come and we were all on a different page as far as our understandings of RP. We appreciated the interactive nature of the day where teachers had time to discuss issues and share back with leadership where they ‘were at’ on the continuum of learning and where they felt the schools next steps should go.
Deputy Principal - Good Shepherd Lutheran School, Para Vista
We had heard of Bill’s great work with his Restorative Practices and knew that he was co-writing a ‘Recipe’ book for Parents on ‘when to say 'yes' and how to say 'no'. We invited him to speak at our Workshop and he spoke on two chapters from the book, ‘How to be the best resilience coach for your kids’ and ‘Dealing with kid’s boredom’.
Bill spoke in a way that was captivating and his use of examples and ‘recipe rescues’ made his ideas and solutions easy to follow. He is very engaging and made everyone feel welcomed with his easy going manner. This is one comment we received from a parent who attended the Workshop: “Tracy & I found it very informative and interesting and I wanted to hear more!! I would definitely be interested in another workshop as well as the actual book when it's launched. Big thanks to Bill I would certainly motivate other friends / school mums to attend. Warm regards Elana Goncalves”
Thank you for your passion for helping us with our parenting Bill and we look forward to hearing more from you at another Workshop soon!
Governing Council Chairperson
Flagstaff Hill R-7 School
Bill came to St John’s and ran a parent workshop about the principles and benefits of implementing Restorative Practices in our school community. The workshop clearly defined the reasons for implementing Restorative Practices to our parent community. Bill’s presentation style engaged the audience and the way he balanced theory with real life examples and humour helped the message of why the restorative approach is beneficial resonate with the audience. Feedback from parents after the workshop was that it enabled them to see the benefits of a restorative approach. It provoked positive playground discussion amongst parents and even had some parents reflecting on their parenting style in regards to the Social-Control Window. Thank you Bill for helping our school community continue along the journey of implementing restorative practices.
St John’s Lutheran School, Highgate
Bill came to our school to run a full PD day on Restorative Practice for Junior Primary students. Delivery and content was rated 9 out of 10 by all staff and it was clearly the best take up of ideas by staff after a training day for a very long time! It was evident Bill had done a great deal of research in order to cater for our Junior Primary focus. Bill’s delivery was very entertaining but always very in touch with the realities of a classroom. We will now look at bringing Bill back into our site to work in classrooms and further develop the Restorative Practice we are using with our children.
Our school would highly recommend Bill’s training sessions!
Port Lincoln Junior Primary School
I just wanted to say thank you again for the great job you and Christie did with our staff development earlier this term... There is an energy around the staff... We now sit in a circle for our administration meetings... Weeks 2-4 started with an affirmation circle and week 5 started with a pair/share about reflecting on teaching reading. Our meetings finish earlier than the designated 30 minutes due to nobody carrying on separate conversations.
One team is using their planning time to prepare circle time resources for term 4 implementation. With the affirmation
circles, teachers are saying thank you to colleagues who help them out or who do something which caught their eye. Everyone, including our office staff, is involved and there is a nice feel to the place.
Al classes are trialling what they learnt on the day. The feedback has been promising. The listening and talking activities have improved with more children participating and attending to details better.
Resources for all grades are being purchased and/or made and it is being integrated across the curriculum. I didn't even say it had to be done!! It will be interesting to reflect at the end of the year about the difference Circle Time has made at our school. Thanks once again for all your input on the day.
Principal, Penshurst Primary School N.S.W.
The Restorative Practice workshops Bill Hansberry delivered to our staff were engaging, interactive and based on current research. Bill provided our staff with deep and clear insights into Restorative Practices and assisted us with the implementation and embedding of these practices at Colonel Light Gardens Primary School. Bill has a comprehensive understanding of adult education and ensured his workshops were dynamic, fast paced and built on participant’s prior knowledge. Bill created a friendly, open atmosphere during his workshops, where colleagues felt they were able to learn. Bill set an appropriate level of difficulty in the tasks he assigned teachers. It was high enough to challenge, but not so high they become frustrated by information overload. Bill provided opportunities for discussion and role plays. The teaching staff at Colonel Light Gardens Primary School were
impressed with Bill’s presentation skills, the content he provided and activities he designed for staff. I would recommend Bill Hansberry, as he has a wealth of knowledge to share and does so in a professional and engaging manner.
Colonel Light Gardens Primary School, S.A.
Bill is an engaging, skilled and experienced educator. He appeals to teachers and school leaders because he has authentic experience of classroom contexts. He provides a clear, accessible and well-researched framework for supporting students in taking responsibility for their own behaviours.
At Tenison Woods College he kept over 100 teachers and support staff engaged for a whole Friday PD session. We were provided with examples, models, scenarios and immediately applicable strategies for working with students, staff and families on dealing with challenging behaviours.
The session on shame and blame was deeply moving and touched the deepest core of our Catholic values and need to respect the dignity of each child. This was not a one-off PD session with an external presenter, it was the impetus to continue our journey together with young people in healing damaged relationships and restoring their ability to thrive in our complex world.
Tenison Woods College S.A.
Bill reminded us that indeed we are ‘hardwired to connect’ and that ALL behaviour has the deep desire for connection as it goal. A key insight for myself and several of the staff was understanding the effects of ‘shame’ on behaviour. As Bill expanded on the ‘Poles of the Compass of Shame’ I was mentally remembering students I have worked with and recognising their place on the compass. Bill reminded us that feeling connected with others and being able to regulate behaviour is linked – misbehaved children are disengaged and/or discontent. This challenged us to look behind the behaviour and to ask the question ‘what is happening to this child’s relationships. ‘We plan to continue our work with Bill and our understanding of Restorative Practices. Bill is a classroom practitioner and relates in a very real way to the world and life of the class teacher.
St Francis School - Lockleys S.A.
I can honestly say that it was refreshing to have a presenter who was both entertaining and knew his stuff. To have us still listening at 3:30 on a friday is not an easy task - especially since I usually tune out round about 12ish!
The workshop presented met all of our needs giving us a greater understanding of Restorative Practices and building on to what we had already done. Bill provided a mix of theory presented in an interesting and personal way with lots of real stories embedded to make the theory relevant and meaningful. We also participated in lots of practical activities which we would do with our students, showing us the learning that can be generated from "Circle Time".
Although Role plays sometimes make people cringe, Bill's were very well structured and non-threatening. They were extremely well recieved and very valuable in demonstrating how conferences can be run. Bill also provided some video support to help us with our learning, these clips demonstrated the value from a student point of view. If people hadn't been won over to the value of Restorative Practices, they certainly were after the workshop.
It was an enjoyable, informative and practical session, very valuable in bringing us together as a staff in working through our RJ journey. Whether you had been to lots of workshops or had done lots of reading - or had done nothing, everyone took valuable pieces from the day.
The day was significant in
developing a staff positive attitude to Restorative Practices. Thanks Bill.
Principal, Kapunda Primary School S.A.
Once again my involvement in discussing restorative justice
practices leaves me feeling positive about the state of the
teaching profession. My colleagues joined with some buddies
from the high school to learn more and discuss further what
we can do better.
Your programme gave us time to reflect on our practices and
ample opportunity to share with others thoughts and ideas
from the classroom and the playground. As a group we were
entertained and involved throughout the day. One of the
important things to me when in a training session is to have
a confident knowledgable presenter. Thanks for that as being
able to refer to research, use other models as examples and
reflection on your own experiences gives huge credibility to
The day was successful as a day of training and development
for those involved. The only thing that holds teachers back
is the whole-school support and system organisation which
they receive. I am confident that our school will be able to
run with new motivation and determine a plan to further
implement strategies to make Kapunda Primary an even more
successful place to work, as a teacher and as a student.
Bill Hansberry was invited to speak to our staff introducing the topic of Restorative Practice. Bill’s well-planned presentation was both informative and effective in inspiring a positive response from staff. His enthusiasm, combined with his knowledge of the topic, stimulated thoughtful discussion about behaviour development processes at our school. As a result of Bill’s presentation, staff were motivated to further explore the merits of Restorative Practice including a full day of formal professional learning. Many staff members were particularly impressed with Bill’s appraisal of restorative strategies without negatively judging current practices. Staff have since shown commitment to renegotiating our Behaviour Management Policy, aiming to make changes that reflect the restorative practices that Bill promotes so successfully.
Bill is comfortable with how schools operate and is not phased by the hectic day to day happenings. He endears himself to staff with his gentle and easy-going approach and shows an appreciation for the complexities they face in the course of a school day.
With students he engages them quickly through his dialogue style and mannerisms. His choice of words is reassuring, non-judgemental and works on emotions. Bill is able to get young people to talk openly and honestly in a short space of time by making them feel important and valued – he gives them the chance to talk and doesn’t judge them for the comments that they put forward. Bill waits for answers, uses silence well and thanks all involved for their contributions. His repertoire of dialogue and his open questioning style give people an invitation to be involved, be heard and feel valued.
Bill gives of himself through his body language and facial expressions. He shows a genuine interest in the people he interacts with – it comes from within.
Caroline Gill & Malcom Jones
Student day, staff and parent sessions feedback
The staff, students and parents of Le Fevre Peninsula Primary School have had the great pleasure of working with Bill Hansberry in an ongoing capacity in 2008. Bill has worked with our school community in embedding Restorative Practices into the culture of our school. He has challenged us to think about our current practices, where we would like to be in the future and most importantly, the journey for how we will get there.
Bill worked with our students from Reception – Year 7 and entertained them with his story of Captain Fix It Pants. He made the Restorative Practice framework come alive for them in a way that has empowered our students to independently problem solve and reflect on their own choices and behaviour.
I would strongly recommend any school using Restorative Practice to work with Bill in helping them to embed this framework into the day to day practices of your school.