New Specialized Trainings

Responding to requests from our CFG® community and other collaborators, NSRF is creating some new training opportunities on specialized topics.

One- and two-day “What’s Next?” workshops are available for booking now. Belonging Mindset trainings are in a “pilot” phase for selected schools, but if this topic is of special interest for you, please do not hesitate to call. 

If you’re interested in anything here, let us know. Trainings will provide new certifications and all will provide a deeper reach into important topics, leveraging the wisdom and experience of your staff.  We want to pilot these programs with care, ideally with a group of people who are friends of Critical Friends Group® work.

Belonging Mindset Training for Classroom Educators

Secondary teachers, did you know you could use NSRF protocols in your middle school or high school classrooms to build a sense of belonging and trust, resulting in better learning?

This new on-site training explores the concept of Belonging Mindset and its intersection with Critical Friends Group work and NSRF protocols. Michele Mattoon recently gave a TEDxBloomington talk about the power of Belonging and our responsibility to help create that feeling in our local environments.  By promoting a sense of belonging in the classroom and/or in advisory groups, you’ll see positive transformation in your school culture, educator job satisfaction, and student achievement.

In this new training, teachers will learn practical activities and protocols specifically for the classroom. The training will teach the basics of growth mindset, belonging mindset, and purpose and relevance mindset so you can strengthen your students’ sense of belonging while boosting their academic achievement. This five-day training will give you tools to:

  • build an atmosphere of safety and trust in your classroom,
  • encourage active participation and equity of student voice,
  • promote critical and creative thinking in your students,
  • encourage students to develop skills in active listening and deep reflection.

If your school or district might be interested in hosting a pilot Belonging Mindset training, please contact michele@nsrfharmony.org.

“The Bind” Identified: Now What?

If you have a connection to high-stakes independent schools, perhaps you are aware of the book At What Cost: Defending Adolescent Development in Fiercely Competitive Schools by Dr. David Gleason, founder and director of Developmental Empathy LLC. (If not, you can purchase a copy on our website by clicking the title above.)  Dr. Gleason speaks internationally about his research around the stresses adolescents experience in those environments. After he completed CFG Coaches’ Training and experienced the value of dilemma protocols, he teamed up with us to create workshops for his audience to process their problem more directly.

One- and two-day “Now What?” Workshops help schools begin to (1) dislodge themselves from the “bind” resulting in imposed stress and anxiety for adolescents in highly competitive schools, and (2) generate specific plans and “next steps” for becoming a more “developmentally empathic” school. “Now What?” workshops can be scheduled at your school to leverage the experience of your staff, and will be co-facilitated by NSRF Director Michele Mattoon and Dr. Gleason.

Participants in this workshop will collaborate to identify specific practices that contribute to their students’ ongoing struggles, as well as concrete and effective ways of changing or replacing those practices. Our shared goal is to help the schools reclaim their primary commitments to educate their students in healthy, safe, and balanced ways, and to simultaneously create healthier school cultures that respect the developmental integrity of their students.




Addressing Elephants: Using Protocols to Help Students Engage in Difficult Conversations


NSRF Director, Michele Mattoon, joined TeachThought Director, Drew Perkins, for “Addressing Elephants” July 16th, 2019. This one-day workshop was held in conjunction with the three-day TeachThought’s Grow19 professional development conference in downtown Louisville, KY on July 17-19. Together, we addressed how to safely engage in difficult conversations profoundly affecting our students, i.e., addressing the “elephants in the room.”

“Addressing Elephants” asked attendees to engage honestly about topics that often provoke strong feelings on many sides of the issue, such as equity in education, high-stakes testing, etc. Rather than leaping to blame or calling for specific solutions, attendees were guided to:

  • Really listen for understanding when others present views different than yours
  • Explore more precisely what you feel and why you feel it
  • Articulate thoughts around your feelings in a non-judgmental, non-personal way
  • Reflect on perspectives, stories, and experiences different from yours
  • Surface common beliefs and values that are shared in a larger group of people
  • Nurture feelings of understanding, respect, empathy, and/or friendliness with others as a result of in-depth, honest, open conversations

Drew Perkins also interviewed Michele to discuss how protocols can improve teaching and learning. Click this link below to listen to the hourlong podcast.


Interested in having a similar day of learning at your school or organization? Call NSRF today – 812-330-2702.


So much more to come!

If your school or district has a need to focus on a particular aspect of Critical Friends Group work, NSRF would be delighted to help with that. Experienced Coaches’ Trainings can provide a one- to three-day deep-dive (length depending on the content desired) into areas such as Observation Protocols, Facilitation Skills, Leadership, Equity, Inquiry, or Strategic Planning. These events are custom-built for a specific group of attendees, so if you’re interested in hosting or attending such a training, please let us know.

Contact Us

Let's talk about your needs

Our number is 812-330-2702. We’re open Monday-Friday, 9-5 Eastern Time, but we’re happy to arrange appointments to speak with you outside our regular business hours as necessary. If you’d like to complete a webform so we can have a more focused conversation, please click the “Contact Us” button to get started.

Contact Us

Other NSRF Training Options