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SEEing to Lead

Oct 24, 2022

John J. Whalen is a leading Restorative Practices pioneer in both theory and application. He has trained thousands of teachers, staff, and students throughout the United States. He is an innovator in professional development and training.  John has spoken at numerous national education conferences including ASCD Empower, ASCD Leadership Conference, the ESEA Conference, National Association of Community and Restorative Justice Conference, the Music City SEL Conference, and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Conference.

John is the author of the book Classroom Circles: A Toolkit for Building Relationships and Strengthening School Communities.

John currently brings his experience to his role as a principal at the Tioughnioga Riverside Academy, a 4th-8th grade building in Upstate New York. He spent 15 years in the classroom teaching both 2nd grade and 6th grade mathematics.  He also spent over three years as a district Restorative Practices Coordinator leading implementation in over ten primary and secondary schools.

John resides in Conklin, NY, with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys hiking, skiing, and camping. He is a graduate of SUNY (the beer) Geneseo and Binghamton University.

Key Takeaways:

  • Circles are important in the process of bringing everyone together by building relationships, and creating a positive culture.
  • Amazing things can happen in your building when faculty work from a lens of respect.
  • Schools with positive cultures where staff feel as if they belong do not experience the shortages seen around the nation.
  • Consistency is key when building circles into your schedule.
  • Check out the 1st 5 email for quick ways to connect, interact, and check in with students or staff.
  • Greeting students at the door results in a 20% boost in engagement and a 10% decrease in behavioral issues.

Stay in Touch:

Twitter: @johnjwhalen


Book: Classroom Circles