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Scope: In order to create a Culture of Willingness and Compassion it is recommended that a Whole School Community Approach be adopted; options might include:-
OPTION 1: Whole School teaching and administration staff training
Whole School seminar 3 hour introduction for school staff and parents who have no prior knowledge or experience of NVC
Equivalent of 2 Day training (16 contact hours) held in a time period suitable to school staff; for Administration, Teaching, Support Staff, Canteen or Tuck-shop Staff, After School and Vacation Care Staff, Cleaners, School Crossing Staff and Grounds people
Follow-up 11 x 2 hours trainings (or 2-3 Days) with Admin and Teaching staff for integrating skills and developing fluency in order to implement into the classroom and model skills - classroom visits by a trainer where teachers would like this
Mentoring and coaching for teaching and administration staff in the application of the skills in the classroom, staff to staff, staff to parents and staff to students
Support in establishing self-organized ongoing study/practice groups and empathy buddies. Also establishing supportive empathy buddies in the local community
OPTION2: Parent Workshops
Parent Workshops would include a 3 hour seminar to gain interest
Equivalent of 2 Day training (16 hours) scheduled over a time period suitable to parents
Support to establish self-organized study/practice groups
OPTION 3: Key Staff in School Clusters
Key individuals from schools e.g. Principals, Deputy Principals, Guidance Officers, Behaviour Management Team Leaders, School Counselors, School Chaplains, Professional Development Teacher, Heads of Departments
OPTION 4: Student Training
Students offered training in 'Peace-Keeping' (peer mediation) and social skills
OPTION 5: Students' 'Giraffe' Club - After School or another time slot
Fun, creative after school workshops for students - mentoring local people to learn how to do this with students - this may include students who don't have effective ways of communicating their needs or getting their needs met
OPTION 6: On-line Training
Following an Introductory Session - 10 Session on-line training program. This is based on the VETEC accredited program of the Effectiveness Training Institute of Australia (Q) and NVC
People could also tap into existing USA NVC Academy on-line training
OPTION 7: Teleclasses
All community members could access existing global Teleclasses
NVC Trainers could also provide Teleclasses for ongoing support and practice
OPTION 8: E-groups
All community members would have the opportunity to join existing e-groups
Local e-groups could be established
Funding could come from a variety of sources - corporate, government, individual, local business, school budget, student levy, Rotary or Lions, P&C fund raising
For example: individual projects, such as the OPTION 3 Parenting Programs might attract funding to subsidize parents and carers attending
Individual trainers, supporters or groups might choose to champion a project that inspires them and seek funding from their own sources
NVC Australia is currently in the process of establishing a legal structure in the form of a Not-for-profit association or company limited by guarantee
Projects may need to be auspiced separately by different organizations if required for funding, accountability and management purposes
It will necessary to evaluate the success of the program - perhaps an Action Research approach may be beneficial
NVC has an Australia wide network of CNVC accredited trainers, registered candidates and supporters. The Sunshine Coast District has a large number of community members already trained in NVC and who are keen to support this program as paid workers or volunteers. We have enough trainers and supports to offer many options.
The Benefits of the Program
USP: Unlike other unconnected programs, such as behaviour management, or parenting workshops, NVC is applicable to all sections of the school community. Using a combined, whole community approach it is possible to connect all the stakeholders together. NVC can make teachers and school administrator's jobs easier. It can enable teachers, administration and all members of the school community to more fully contribute to childrens' growth, learning, skill development and success in school.
The NVC process is closely aligned with Education Queensland philosophy, goals and values, school communities and those of the QCPCA. It can be the glue that brings a community into a cohesive union through shared language and understanding.
In addition to having the potential to be a common language it's also a tool for resolving conflict, mediation, building better relationships, social skills, friendship building, resilience and emotional and relational intelligence.
Therefore, this program has the capacity to support school communities in creating collaborative, respectful and positive environments at home and at school. School staff, especially teachers who are in the frontline of responsibility for student care and learning will have a tool for self-reflection and self-empathy. Staff peers will be able to offer constructive support in the form of empathic listening to each other.
All relationships benefit at all levels in all contexts i.e. at home as well as professionally. Schools, teachers and parents are doing a wonderful job and this program holds the intention of building on the strengths and skills of staff, administration and parents.
Many teachers and parents are already doing wonderfully. These are people who we recognize and admire; they seem to handle 'tricky' kids well, connect easily, gain cooperation and create a culture of willingness in classrooms and homes. Whether this approach is instinctive, intuitive or learned, this program breaks down and teaches everyone 'how' to do this even in difficult conditions.
Challenges in the delivery of the OPTION 1 Whole School Program
The NVC team working on this project acknowledges that school staff, in particular teachers is exposed to frequent 'waves' of new programs. Our NVC network includes many enthusiastic currently practicing teachers who inform our process and program development.
Finding time for a whole school staff to undertake this training is a challenge and TRS is expensive - our NVC network of trainers and supporters are flexible with how, where and when to deliver training. In consultation with each school context or group of people we will partner to brainstorm or 'heart-storm' strategies to meet needs.
Objectives of the Program
1.1 Overview of the "NonViolent Communication" School Program
In schools where there is a climate and culture of tolerant respectful communication amongst staff, teachers, pupils and community members (including parents) it is possible to listen and articulate or discuss observations, feelings, needs and requests without resorting to judgmentalism and blame.
1.2 Outcomes Expected from the Program
Members of the school community will develop the ability to objectively observe behaviour and events factually.
Members of the school community will develop the ability to express feelings, needs and requests with honesty, precision and clarity.
Members of the school community will develop the ability to give empathy to feelings, needs and requests of others.
Members of the school community will develop the ability to resolve conflict, mediate in conflict, find protective rather than punitive ways to deal with 'bullying' situations
Nature of OPTION 1: Whole School Program
The NonViolent Communication program changes the climate and quality of life in schools.
The program is implemented over three years, and consists of up to 112 hours of training.
The school will be able to focus on the needs of individuals and to arrive at a conclusion on the preferred method of running the program (in terms of training hours per year, meetings, duration etc). It is recommended to follow the structure detailed in paragraph 3.
The program is based on receiving professional training for the entire duration, with an NVC trainer's involvement, which will decrease throughout the year, until such time as the school can implement the program independently.
Supporters of NVC training who live in local communities are willing and capable of contributing in a variety of ways
The NonViolent Communication program is based on a model developed by Dr Marshall Rosenberg, and enables "violent" messages (i.e. meaning expressions that are judgmental, accusatory, or are aggressive) to be translated into empathic ones. Use of this model allows the creation of a dialogue of mutual understanding in situations of misunderstanding and conflict.
The program is based on training all staff to model and use the skills, teach the model in the classroom, and operating school systems in a manner that is consistent with the model.
The teaching staff learn and experience "NonViolent Communication" and receive tools for teaching the model in their classes. Every school initiates and develops, according to its needs, and with the assistance of the trainer/s and assisting supporters, additional means of running the model within the school.
The program is built and adapted in response to evaluation and feedback from participants to reflect information internalized, results achieved and lessons learnt.
Staff training takes place in workshops, which use theory, exercises and role-play from school life, and development of a professional learning environment.
Structure of OPTION 1: Whole School Program
The recommended structure of the program assumes the need for a large investment in training by the NVC facilitator/s and supporters in the first year, followed by decreasing direct involvement in the school in stages over the next two years.
Schools are able to tailor a program to their specific needs.
First Year - up to 56 hours
Teachers and administrative staff receive a seminar introducing the model and the training in the classroom.
Teaching staff receive personal assistance according to their needs as requested.
Development and training of "Peace-Seekers" to mediate in situations of conflict or misunderstandings.
Second Year - up to 35 hours
The program for the second year is structured according to the needs of teaching and administrative staff, based on the following options:
Expanding knowledge of NVC and the ability of teachers to use the model in the classroom.
Personal supervision and support of teachers and trainers using the program.
Combined meetings with teachers, pupils and parents of pupils.
Meetings and training of pupils.
Third Year - up to 21 hours
Personal guidance, upon requested, to school staff.
Meetings between the trainer/s and the teaching staff to improve the teachers' ability to independently use NVC in the school, and adapting the program to the specific needs and everyday life in the school and the surrounding community.
Breakdown of the Whole School program for First Year
4.1 The following structure is recommended for the basic program:
Introductory seminar - 2 full days - flexible delivery options.
11 x 2-hour meetings.
This proposal is adapted to the individual needs of the school.
4.2 It is recommended that meetings be held at least once every fortnight in order to enable continuity within the program.
4.3 It is recommended that schools, which are not familiar with NVC, commence the program with a 3-hour presentation of NVC. A basic explanation of NVC is attached to this proposal.
4.4 It is recommended that the OPTION 2: Parent Workshops are offered in combination with OPTION 1.
4.4 The workshop program for the teaching staff covers the following areas:
The basic Components of NVC:
Observation - Learning and practicing to differentiate between personal descriptions (judgments, evaluations) and descriptions of facts (agreements)
Feelings - Expanding vocabulary and description of feelings. Learning to differentiate between feelings and thoughts. Exercises for identification and expression of feelings.
Needs and values - What are needs and values? What is the connection between needs, values and desires? Personal expression of values. Learning to differentiate between needs and requests. Exercises for identification and expression of needs.
Requests - Learning to differentiate between needs, requests and demands. Exercises for developing the ability to express requests in a positive, clear and concise manner.
Empathy - Listening to empathy, expressing empathy to oneself and to others, receiving empathy, exercises relating to empathy based on examples from the school.
Application of the model:
Mediation - resolving disputes through NVC. Exercises and role-plays
Communication - Staff-to-staff, staff to students, staff to parents, parents to staff, student to student, staff to P&C - all community members interactions with each other
Modeling - the most powerful way for people to learn is for the classroom to be a safe supportive environment and also for adults to be modeling these skills - Ghandi's "Be the change you want to see in the world"
Intervention and prevention - behaviour management - creatively addresses behaviour and issues before they reach a need for punitive sanctions to be imposed
Evaluation - evaluation of the process in comparison with results achieved. Means of expressing concise and clear evaluation and evaluation of oneself.
Expressing gratitude - expressing gratitude and positive evaluation through concise and clear feedback that is both reflective and useful to the recipient.
Saying "no" in NVC Language.
Hearing "no" and "hard to hear messages" in NVC Language
Expressing anger and strong emotions in NVC Language.