Seeking a trusted community, collaboration,
and improving your practice? We’ve got you!

Join our Virtual Critical Friends Group®
Coaches’ Training for 2021-22!

A 26-hour training conducted within Zoom,
culminating in Virtual CFG® Coaches’ Certification

Virtual Open CFG Coaches Training

Critical Friends Group work epitomizes Learning Mindsets
recognized by Scholars Mindset Network.

♦ Growth Mindset  ♦  Belonging Mindset  ♦  Purpose & Relevance Mindset

Complete this training and learn how to:

  • Build and maintain a sense of trust between colleagues (belonging), in order to
  • Improve our practice (growth) and address dilemmas that have stumped us, all while
  • Increasing student achievement and our own job satisfaction (purpose and relevance).

Since 1998, NSRF has trained and certified thousands of educators and others to become CFG Coaches. Since spring 2020, with the arrival of pandemic times, we’ve learned how to translate that training into the Zoom environment with fidelity. In times when educators feel even more stressed and isolated, this training can help you help yourself and your colleagues feel more connected, supporting one another to solve problems together.

Expect to collaborate and participate!

From the safety and comfort of your own home, please join us via Zoom for this virtual training split into eight days.

This is not a “webinar”! Expect to be on-camera and on-task, and the results will be worth it! This is an NSRF professional learning EXPERIENCE in which each participant will bring samples of their work product — materials to be improved, issues for brainstorming, data for review, etc. — and a professional dilemma around which they hope to gain insights. The experience of training is wrapped around the experience of having built trust together and then gaining the value of a trusted CFG community.

Completing 26 hours of training and about five hours of homework in-between sessions will earn you certification as a Virtual CFG Coach, empowered to create and coach Critical Friends Group communities, as well as lead our protocols and activities outside that structure.

First on the agenda is learning a number of activities that will encourage colleagues to look at and value one another in new ways, to de-personalize the effects of unskillful interactions and learn better strategies for giving feedback.  These tools which help provide equity of voice in meetings, provide structure that helps “quiet people” build up to speaking in the full group, and teach people who commonly monopolize conversations why that’s not a great idea for anybody.

New and familiar protocols, activities, and techniques shared here build upon 25+ years of successful NSRF work around tables, incorporating aspects of Zoom (or other virtual environment) that enhance rather than destroy connection.

The pair of NSRF Facilitators leading your training will transparently share facilitation details of these activities that help us overcome (as much as possible) the separation we all feel due to physical distancing.

You’ll learn protocols to help you:

  • Improve existing materials so they better accomplish your goals
  • Address dilemmas that seem to have no positive next steps
  • Look at data in new ways, reducing the fears that often arise when reviewing data
  • Review and learn from texts and other media, constructing meaning together
  • and much more!

If you have previously participated in our protocols and CFG communities, we’ll share how “old familiar” materials were skillfully adjusted to work better within virtual environments, a process which is not always as straightforward as it may seem!

Experience and learn new and familiar protocols!

In this “hands-on and brains on” training, you’ll experience (and learn to lead) more than a dozen protocols and activities to support you and your colleagues in professional learning and collaboration. Many of these are variations on materials designed originally for our in-person CFG Coaches’ trainings, and others are new, designed specifically for Zoom.

Anyone can join this training!

Designed for people with limited- to no experience with NSRF protocols, we’ll also welcome others who’ve used NSRF protocols or been a part of a CFG community. Even if you’re already a Critical Friends Group Coach OR a Building Belonging Coach, there’s plenty for you to learn — NEW materials and strategies for maximizing connection and productivity via Zoom! And everyone will experience the real power of Critical Friends Group work, even done virtually. You will leave with great tools to take into your own meetings with colleagues, classrooms, and maybe even Zoom gatherings with your extended family!

Time well spent!

Your investment to attend this virtual Open CFG Coaches’ Training, equivalent of a 33-hour in-person training, is $850. Leave with clear action steps to use within your school community to help everyone through this unprecedented time of change. Receive PDF copies of the materials used in the training for your future use.

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(We ask you to please respect our copyright and do not share the materials broadly — We trust that you will use them with care and regard.)

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Bonus for inviting a friend!

If you invite a friend or colleague to join you for this training, each of you will receive a $50 discount (limit one discount per organization). We have learned that having another person in your working environment who has completed the same training will help both of you in moving this work forward — You can support each other in meetings, taking turn being the lead coach, which also helps you bring your own work to the group.

Participants who complete the full training will be certified as Critical Friends Group® Virtual Coaches, receiving a PDF certificate citing the number of hours spent in the training.

Certificate Thumbnail Image

Open Training options are best if you would like to train single participants or small groups. If you have a large number of people to be trained with this content, contact us at nsrf@nsrfharmony.org to discuss pricing and scheduling that will meet your needs.

A Few Tech Agreements

Review these agreements to gain an understanding of this training’s technical set-up. Save them if you choose to join us. We commit to beginning and ending on time so we recommend you connect to our Zoom meeting link a few minutes in advance of the training time, that you have your Google Classroom open, and (optionally) have the day’s materials printed out in advance.  There will be a break midway through each of these sessions.  (You will receive the Zoom link to “join” upon completion of your purchase. Do not share the Zoom link as it is specific to you.)

For the best experience for you and everyone else, we ask that you review our Tech Agreements …

We’ll send instructions in advance of training (and a wee bit of advance prep work) to ensure you have full access to our learning management system.

Mobile devices don’t allow you to see everyone at once in gallery view and sometimes are problematic in breakout groups.

Visit Zoom.us for the download and be sure you’re updated. Using the application helps ensure you can access all the abilities of Zoom.

This ensures we’ll all be able to hear one another well, that you will not inadvertently interrupt others, that background noise will not disturb the group, nor the group disturb others in your local environment.

There will be opportunities for open conversation, but because we begin and end on time, we do our best to stay on-task.

Being able to see one another, read facial expressions, and feel “seen” are all vital parts of experiencing a sense of belonging. If you need to use a virtual background or throw a sheet over items in the background that you wish to keep private, we respect your privacy in those matters, but it’s important to see your face as much as we can. However, if your Internet or WiFi connectivity causes disruption for you, you may turn off your camera while in the large group space. We hope you’ll be able to participate with camera on in breakouts.

We will share important links and other information with you in Chat, and at times we will be watching Chat to get your responses, but we ask that you not send informal chat messages to everyone in the group and instead that you help us all keep our attention on the work at hand.

NSRF may use screenshots for our future promotions, however, but will confirm your permission if we do. This agreement, combined with the use of a microphone/headset allows all participants to feel more confident in group confidentiality.

Refund Policy

NSRF works hard to keep the costs of our trainings low and only accepts a limited number of participants per cohort, which makes it an especially high-value training opportunity. Because of the limited number of seats and the low margin, full refunds are only available with cancellations at least two weeks before this event. If you find you cannot attend, please try to find a colleague who can take your seat and contact us with the information so we can correct the Zoom link for that person.  By submitting your registration you are agreeing to these terms.

Questions?

If you have any questions about CFG trainings in general, or about purchasing and registering for this NSRF® Open Training, please email us at nsrf@nsrfharmony.org. We are here to help!

You may have options! NSRF is working to offer multiple NEW trainings shaped for virtual settings. Shorter and affordable, many are open to all educators and professionals while others are exclusive for trained CFG Coaches. Check out all that we have to offer on our OPEN TRAININGS page.

If you would like to read more about learning mindsets, we recommend the Mindset Scholars Network.