NSRF offers a number of items for sale to support you in working with Critical Friends Group® communities and in the classroom, including annual NSRF® memberships with all the benefits they entail. You may also be interested in donating to the Lois Butler Scholarship Fund, to help ensure that other educators may benefit from what you've already learned through NSRF work. If you're an administrator looking for support with a short workshop, or facilitation help with a crucial, delicate meeting, we can help you with that, too.
However, the main benefits that you can achieve with our assistance come from the strength of becoming trained as an NSRF-certified CFG coach, sometimes taking additional experienced coaches training.
Strengthen your practice, your students, and your school with CFG communities.
Critical Friends Group communities, a particular variety of professional learning communities (PLCs), can transform your teaching practice, fast-track your leadership skills, increase student achievement, and help evolve your school's culture. NSRF Critical Friends Group Coaches Training will give you the tools to understand and lead protocols, and generate support and participation for CFG work. For more on how CFG communities can do all these things, and more, read our Self-Guided Tour to CFG Work and visit our FAQ page.
Does your school have critical mass to start CFG work, or are you just beginning?
For schools or districts that are ready to launch Critical Friends Group communities throughout their staff, we recommend one person be trained for every eight to twelve staffers (so, one person trained as a coach for every proposed CFG meeting).
If you have 10-15 people ready to be trained (or multiples of 10 or 15), that's the “sweet spot” for us to bring CFG Coaches Training to you in the most cost-effective manner, in an on-site training. If you have five to nine people to train at once, we can talk about the possibility of your hosting an on-site+open training, drawing another six to ten people from your geographic area to provide cost-effective training for all. And if you have fewer than five people to train as coaches now, sending them to an open training in one of our locations around the country is your best option. (If you already know you're interested in an open training, here's our list of what's open now.)
Best practices for administrators and CFG communities
For CFG work to create the most positive effect in your school, it's vital that at least one administrator also takes NSRF training. Administrators who have experienced the power of CFG work may be tempted to mandate the adoption of CFG communities throughout their schools, and may want to lead a CFG meeting of faculty members themselves. With this in mind, here are three “best practices” learned throughout years of experience in a variety of schools.
1) Effective CFG communities are based in deep trust which, unfortunately, is stretched too thin in groups where a teacher's supervisor is listening to their dilemmas and challenges. Conversely,
2) Administrators can benefit greatly from an administrative CFG community... because your administrative dilemmas and challenges aren't always appropriate to share with your faculty. Plus,
3) Most administrators choose to take the three-day CFG Training for Administrators because they often feel they can't take five days away from their work. Administrators can add two more days later, if they wish to become certified CFG coaches.
So let's talk about options better suited administrative needs, beginning with Three Day Administrators' Introductions to CFG Work, as well as opportunities for administrators to get NSRF help with Meeting/Training Design and Development, as well as Independent Facilitation of Meetings.