Upcoming Open Trainings
The trainings below are being held at various sites across the country. Unless otherwise noted, fees include all five days of training, plus your materials, lunch, a certificate of completion and a year’s coach membership in NSRF®. Overnight accommodations, transportation, and evening meals are additional costs, arranged by you. Click on the event title for specific details.
Open Trainings open the world to you
In your work environment, you interact often with people who are a lot like you. You are, after all, working in a similar field, with the same student body, within the same age/grade range, in a particular school, in a shared geographic location.
In contrast, each NSRF Open Training typically includes:
- participants from a range of early childhood, elementary, middle, high, preK-12, and higher education,
- a mixture of classroom teachers, administrators, coaches, professional development folks, and others,
- people from public and private schools,
- participants from “poorer” schools and districts, and others from more comfortable places,
- some who are attending voluntarily and others who have been “strongly encouraged to attend” by an administrator,
- educators from all over the country and sometimes even from outside the U.S, and
- sometimes a few participants from business or other arenas who want to learn from and with educators.
What can these strangers know about me and my problems?
About two days into every open training, at least one participant exclaims to someone from “the opposite” demographic, “I didn’t think you could possibly help me with this, but what you said really did help!” 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 or CFG meetings will solve your problems for you, or show you “The One True Answer” to your problem, 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 you will bring to training
NSRF Trainings are definitely NOT “sit and get” events. Through the week, you should expect to engage in solving your own and others’ real-life problems. 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 you also have some imperfect or confusing project, some assessment or plan or other document that you know needs some help. Bring those things with you, and within your week of training, the group will use NSRF protocols to show you specific next steps you can take home to improve both the work and the dilemma! And by participating in and facilitating those protocols using other people’s real dilemmas and real work, you’ll experience the satisfaction of helping others solve their toughest problems.
Beyond that homework, the very best thing you can bring 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. Plus, in many open trainings, if you bring a colleague, the price per person drops for both of you!
Cost and benefits
A full five days of training starts at $850 (some locations have higher expenses, resulting in somewhat higher training costs), and your fee includes all the materials you’ll need for the training, and lunches for the week. You’ll have your own copy of the Critical Friends Group Coaches’ Handbook, a 145-page spiral-bound “bible” you’ll probably use for years, plus a yearlong, renewable coach-level membership with us, which gains you access to the Protocol Matching Tool and much more coach-specific content on this website. Upon completion of all five days of the training, coaches also receive a digital certificate to share and print declaring your credentials as a CFG coach. If your school is tracking hours toward CCUs, we can confirm the number of hours attended.
Important: In order to be certified as a coach and receive coaches’ access to our website, you must complete the entire five-day training. This training is jam-packed with important content, each segment building upon the segment before. If you miss more than an hour or so, you will not be able to make up that time with homework, and if someone floats in and out, they may rapidly become lost. Please understand the importance of attending the full week’s agenda and plan accordingly. For more information, check our FAQ.
If you’re planning your budget, beyond the fee for the training, you will provide your own transportation and meals (lunch is generally included in the conference fee). We do our best arrange for discounted lodging (that may include a free breakfast) at the training site.
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, Kuwait, Athens, Greece, and occasionally in other cities such as Nashville and Anchorage. Watch this page for details or ask us if you’re looking for a particular location or timing.