Open Trainings


If you're an individual seeking to become a certified CFG® coach, or someone from a school or district interested in training just a few people, start here. If you have five to nine people interested in being trained, read here but also see the On-Site+Open Training page. But if you have 10-15 people ready to start training, please skip now to the On-Site Trainings page for the most cost-effective option for you.

And if you already know you want to sign up for an Open Training and you're looking for the schedule of specific opportunities, click here to get to our table of current events.

Open Trainings open the world to you.
In your school or work environment, you probably interact mostly with people pretty much like you. You are, after all, working with the same student body, within the same age/grade range, in a particular school, in the same geographic location.

In contrast, each NSRF® Open Training very typically includes:

  • people from a range of early childhood, elementary, middle, high, preK-12, and higher education,
  • a mixture of classroom teachers, administrators, coaches, professional development folks--anyone who is associated with education,
  • people from public and private schools, and sometimes a few from business or other arenas,
  • some from poorer and others from more comfortable schools or districts,
  • some attending voluntarily and others “strongly encouraged to attend” by an administrator,
  • educators from all over the country and sometimes even from outside the U.S.



What can these strangers know about me and my problems?
About two days into every open training, at least one person exclaims to someone from “the opposite” demographic, “I didn't think you could possibly help me with this, but what you said really helped!” The fact is, the more diverse your Critical Friends Group® community or training is, the richer the perspectives on every problem. It's an example of one of our favorite quotes from Albert Einstein, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.“

It's not that CFG® coaches training will solve your problems for you, or give you “The Answer” tied up in a pretty ribbon, but we can assure you that when you bring your dilemma or piece of work to training, you will go home with fresh ideas and next steps to take to improve that situation.

What to bring?
NSRF® Trainings are by no means “sit and get” events. Before your training, you'll receive email with a bit of homework: an article to read and bring to the first day, and more importantly, instructions to bring “a dilemma and a piece of work.”

The best way to fully understand the power and value of CFG® work and NSRF protocols is to experience how they help you address your own challenges. Everyone has dilemmas in their work, challenges they just haven't been able to solve on their own. And we know you're interested in improving your own practice, so surely you have some artifact or project to bring, some object or plan which you'd like support in improving or creating. Bring your dilemma and piece of work, and before the five days are out, you'll present your work within NSRF protocols, and head home with specific next steps to improve both the work and the dilemma! You'll also practice facilitating those protocols using other people's real dilemmas and real work, and experience the satisfaction of helping others solve their toughest problems.

Beyond your homework, the very best thing you can bring to any open training is a colleague to train with you. When you're the only CFG® coach in your workplace, it's difficult (but not impossible) to effect change beyond your own practice. When you have a colleague who's also trained as a CFG coach, you have a common language to work with, the ability to give your colleagues back home two different perspectives on the value of the work, and of course, a second coach means that you can bring some of your own work to the CFG meeting more easily. We recognize that it's not always possible for a school to send two individuals, but we do encourage it whenever possible.


What's it going to cost, you ask?
A full five days of training runs $815 or more, depending on the location, and includes all the materials you'll need for the training, and lunches for the week. Upon completion, you'll also receive a frame-worthy certificate declaring you a NSRF CFG coach, and a year's NSRF coach-level membership, which gains you access to more content here on this website.

Most of the NSRF Open Trainings are held in Bloomington, Indiana, (about an hour's shuttle ride south of Indianapolis International Airport) but they're also held regularly in Los Angeles, Nashville, San Francisco, Athens, Greece, and occasionally in other cities such as Boston and Anchorage. Watch our scheduling page for details. You'll provide your own transportation and meals outside of lunch, and we do our best to work with local hotels for discounted lodging.

Ready to learn about specific opportunities?
Click here for our schedule of upcoming open trainings and see what appeals to you, then follow the links within that table for applications or more info on specific locales.

Or do you have any questions we haven't answered yet?
If so, please email nsrf@nsrfharmony.org or call us at 812-330-2702.