Teaching and Learning

Target Audience: School Staff Members

NSCC offers the following trainings and on-site staff development on the following topics. Depending on your needs, these topics can range from awareness raising sessions, to full or multi day trainings that promote skills as well as awareness.

Classroom Management and Restorative Practices

Target Audience: K-12 educators

Are you creating a classroom climate for learning?

How can this training help my school?

Restorative classroom discipline practices effectively promote core social, emotional and civic learning. Restorative efforts promote the following processes and learning:

  • Cooperative and supportive community building, culture of mutual respect
  • Focus is on the behavior, not the student as a bad person
  • Restorative measures used as primary intervention with traditional/punitive still available as last resort
  • The students see how their actions affect others
  • Reduces the amount of time spent on disciplinary action because the root of the problem is dealt with

The trainings and follow-up support provides an entry point for faculty to develop a set of shared practices that will reduce student-teacher conflicts, reduce disciplinary referrals, and teach being able to promote social, emotional and civic as well as intellectual learning.

What do I get with this training?

Classroom Management and Restorative Practices begins with a two-day training. It emphasizes clear expectations, a prevention and problem solving orientation, development of more effective “teacher talk,” and concrete strategies that improve individual student motivation, self-discipline, group cooperation, and participation in the classroom. Through interactive experiences, case studies, dialogue and reflection, participants in our two-day training will learn to:

  1. Review the concept of worldview and practice three-part listening. Listening provides the foundation for knowing ourselves, our students and our school community. How we listen to ourselves and others shapes how we teach, our authority, how we define boundaries and responses to conflict, our ability to recognize the needs of students and the social norms that shape learning, teaching and school climate.
  2. Develop an enhanced awareness of the advantages and limitations of various model of discipline and the impact of punitive discipline practices on students.
  3. Increase our understanding of the concepts of restorative justice and its application to school- wide disciplinary strategies. Sometimes prevention work and restorative justice approaches to misbehavior are not enough. What are our options then?
  4. Increase our knowledge of resources for establishing a positive school culture and restorative disciplinary practices. For example, teachers need to balance the needs of individual students and the needs of the group. What do you do to provide the kinds of differentiated support that will help all of your students increase their internal motivation and develop greater personal efficacy? What do you do to maintain positive group cooperation and participation throughout the year?

Infusing Social, Emotional and Civic Learning into Classroom Practice

Target Audience: K-12 educators

Are you creating a classroom climate for learning? Do students feel comfortable “not knowing” and being active and engaged learners?

This training helps classroom teachers understand more deeply how they can use their own behavior, classroom discipline, and a variety of pedagogic strategies to create a classroom climate for learning and positive youth development.

Participants will learn about:

  • How your behavior can support social, emotional and civic learning
  • How establishing norms can promote students feeling safe and engaged
  • Classroom management strategies that promote safe and engaged class behavior and learning
  • Pedagogic strategies (e.g. moral dilemma discussions; cooperative learning; conflict resolution/mediation) that further social, emotional and civic learning.

Educators will be provided with resources and tools that support this work.

To learn more, please contact our Education Department at info@schoolclimate.org.

Peer Mediation Programs for Students

Target Audience: K-12 students and teachers

Life involves a series of decisions and conflicts. Is your classroom and school a place where students learn to face the tests of life rather than being a life of tests?

Why is building negotiation and collaborative problem solving for students important?

Life and learning is a process of negotiation and collaboration. The skills and dispositions that support students being able to pay attention to “What do I need now?” “What are my goals and how can I work with others to achieve these goals in the best way?” “How can work and learn with others?” shape our lives. Learning is always powerfully shaped by an ongoing process of negotiation and collaborative problem solving.

This training is focused on students and the development of peer mediation programs. Peer mediation is a powerful and effective youth leadership model. Peer mediation programs support students to help other students to resolve their differences and conflicts in flexible and non-violent ways. Peer mediation supports students utilizing conflict resolution practices and social, emotional, and civic skills/dispositions to play a leadership role in increasing peace and reducing violence in their school.

How can this training help my school?

Kids helping kids fosters caring, responsible and supportive learning environment. Peer mediation programs promote social, emotional and civic learning. Relationships are the foundation for learning and teaching. When schools recognize the profound importance of relationships and how we negotiate and solve problems in helpful (or inadvertently, unhelpful) ways, we are supporting the mission of schools: learning, teaching, and developing the skills and dispositions that support lifelong learning and effective citizenry.

What do I get with the Peer mediation training?

This training supports positive school climate and other forms of school reform. When schools focus on teaching students negotiation and collaborative problem solving skills and develop peer mediation programs, you will receive field-tested materials and experienced consultants who guide you through the stages of setting up a successful program.

We train a carefully selected group of students along with adult peer mediation coaches and a program coordinator. After three days of training for this group, your school will be ready to have students begin mediating disputes among their peers. The students will learn a model that helps them provide a structure for students who are in conflict to tell their stories, listen to each other, brainstorm solutions, and negotiate an agreement that will work for them. The peer mediators will learn listening, empathy, questioning, intergroup relations, and problem-solving skills. In addition to this training, the peer mediation coaches will receive coaching in how to implement peer mediation programs, promote the program school-wide, and help improve peer mediators’ skills. Your peer mediation coaches will then be able to sustain the program and train new peer mediators in future years.

With the Peer Mediation program you will receive:

  • An introductory meeting with our consultant and a committee of your administrators, teachers, and parents to customize the Peer Mediation program to fit your school’s schedules, cultural composition, most pressing needs, and constraints.
  • One day of training for five to seven adult peer mediation coaches followed by three days of training for a core group of 18-22 students and the adult coaches to help all involved become proficient in the skills they need and the process they’ll be using to help students resolve conflicts.
  • An introductory presentation for school staff to familiarize them with the peer mediation approach and encourage them to refer students to the program.
  • One day of on-site follow-up consultation later in the year, which includes a meeting with administrators and additional training for staff and students, and ongoing consultation to help you make implementation decisions, integrate the program with other school initiatives, and resolve program dilemmas.
  • Periodic phone and email contact between our consultant and a designated “point person” in the school(s) will be an intermittent but ongoing part of the process. This will allow our consultants to understand successes and challenges and be helpful – from afar – in any and all ways that they can.
  • Peer mediation implementation guides for the core staff working with the peer mediators and a notebook of materials and forms for peer mediators.

To learn more, please contact our Education Department at info@schoolclimate.org.