by Tribu

November 27, 2020

NEDRP

Flashback to early March 2019, I was finally able to attend a professional development workshop that I had been wanting to go to for years.  I was so excited and yet nervous at the same time.  There was this virus moving around the world with ominous implications. As it turned out, the professional development workshop was canceled as were all my scheduled work contracts with National Educators for Restorative Practices (NEDRP)- a company dedicated to providing education & training focusing on relationship-centered learning. The future was unsure.  

However, it was actually a blessing in disguise.  When the schools shut down I was able to homeschool my two nephews in the 3rd and 4th grades as well as watch their 9-month-old baby brother.  There were days that everything ran smoothly and then there were days that were more than trying.  I felt the pain of all the other families out there struggling to figure out this new situation.  I  was amazed at the wonderful lessons and learning opportunities that the boys’ teachers put together day after day in the face of unprecedented struggles. 

The days either flew by or dragged on. It was an endless rollercoaster ride of moments of joy and despair and everything in between.  I was in need of something different, something new.  That is when I received an email that the professional development workshop I wanted to attend would host some online education training. I excitedly put the dates and reminders on my phone.  I knew things would have to perfectly line up for me to be able to participate.  Fortunately, one day the stars aligned, school work was complete, the baby was asleep in my lap, the phone reminder went off, and my laptop was close by so that I could reach it without waking up the baby.  

The session was a group of speakers/researchers discussing their work with the growth mindset movement. This was right up my ally!  I listened intently to the presentation with my earbuds in so as to not wake the baby.  They were speaking my language!  My key takeaways were –  students achieve at higher rates when they have a growth mindset.  But, a growth mindset has to be taught.  Attaining a growth mindset is dependent on the teacher instilling it.  The teacher’s words and actions have to align and be positive and authentic. 

All this made me think about relationship-centered learning and part of the NEDRP training where we talk about the power of words. In a day-long training, we take roughly 30 minutes to discuss the implications of words, especially the power and weight an educator’s words have on the developing mind of a student. Based on the presentation I was listening to, I understood how these 30 minutes of our NEDRP training is more important than ever. 

When thinking about the words we use, NEDRP encourages educators to make an intentional step towards being mindful of your language and choosing words that put the relationship at the center. My father wanted to be an air force pilot but never took that chance because his high school algebra teacher told him that he wasn’t smart enough in math to be a pilot. Instead of this statement, the algebra teacher could have chosen a relationship-centered learning approach such as getting to know why my dad wanted to be a pilot and encouraging him to work on his math skills to achieve his dream.  (I’m pretty sure that my dad would have made one heck of a pilot!)   

In light of current world events, I believe that it is more important than ever to choose our words carefully to build up and not tear down.  Everyone is going through something right now.  If we could all see each other’s traumas like you can see each other’s faces and clothing, I think there would be much more compassion and understanding in the world.  Perhaps we could relate to each other better by knowing we have all suffered in one way or another.  Choose to be intentionally positive with the words you use towards your students, parents, fellow educators, and especially yourself.  I encourage you to be as gentle as you can with yourself and others.  It is a stressful time, choose to help ease stress instead of adding to it by being mindful of the words you are using.    

Flashback to early March 2019, I was finally able to attend a professional development workshop that I had been wanting to go to for years.  I was so excited and yet nervous at the same time.  There was this virus moving around the world with ominous implications. As it turned out, the professional development workshop was canceled as were all my scheduled work contracts with National Educators for Restorative Practices (NEDRP)- a company dedicated to providing education & training focusing on relationship-centered learning. The future was unsure.  

However, it was actually a blessing in disguise.  When the schools shut down I was able to homeschool my two nephews in the 3rd and 4th grades as well as watch their 9-month-old baby brother.  There were days that everything ran smoothly and then there were days that were more than trying.  I felt the pain of all the other families out there struggling to figure out this new situation.  I  was amazed at the wonderful lessons and learning opportunities that the boys’ teachers put together day after day in the face of unprecedented struggles. 

The days either flew by or dragged on. It was an endless rollercoaster ride of moments of joy and despair and everything in between.  I was in need of something different, something new.  That is when I received an email that the professional development workshop I wanted to attend would host some online education training. I excitedly put the dates and reminders on my phone.  I knew things would have to perfectly line up for me to be able to participate.  Fortunately, one day the stars aligned, school work was complete, the baby was asleep in my lap, the phone reminder went off, and my laptop was close by so that I could reach it without waking up the baby.  

The session was a group of speakers/researchers discussing their work with the growth mindset movement. This was right up my ally!  I listened intently to the presentation with my earbuds in so as to not wake the baby.  They were speaking my language!  My key takeaways were –  students achieve at higher rates when they have a growth mindset.  But, a growth mindset has to be taught.  Attaining a growth mindset is dependent on the teacher instilling it.  The teacher’s words and actions have to align and be positive and authentic. 

All this made me think about relationship-centered learning and part of the NEDRP training where we talk about the power of words. In a day-long training, we take roughly 30 minutes to discuss the implications of words, especially the power and weight an educator’s words have on the developing mind of a student. Based on the presentation I was listening to, I understood how these 30 minutes of our NEDRP training is more important than ever. 

When thinking about the words we use, NEDRP encourages educators to make an intentional step towards being mindful of your language and choosing words that put the relationship at the center. My father wanted to be an air force pilot but never took that chance because his high school algebra teacher told him that he wasn’t smart enough in math to be a pilot. Instead of this statement, the algebra teacher could have chosen a relationship-centered learning approach such as getting to know why my dad wanted to be a pilot and encouraging him to work on his math skills to achieve his dream.  (I’m pretty sure that my dad would have made one heck of a pilot!)   

In light of current world events, I believe that it is more important than ever to choose our words carefully to build up and not tear down.  Everyone is going through something right now.  If we could all see each other’s traumas like you can see each other’s faces and clothing, I think there would be much more compassion and understanding in the world.  Perhaps we could relate to each other better by knowing we have all suffered in one way or another.  Choose to be intentionally positive with the words you use towards your students, parents, fellow educators, and especially yourself.  I encourage you to be as gentle as you can with yourself and others.  It is a stressful time, choose to help ease stress instead of adding to it by being mindful of the words you are using.    

Consider this a call to action to grow yourself. Take this as a challenge to model a growth mindset for your students. Grow your words.  One way to do this is by noticing a word or phrase you use that has a negative connotation, then finding a positive way to convey the same message.  If you can’t think of something, consider recording yourself.  Or if you are up for being vulnerable, ask a peer or your students.  You could even explain to them that you want to model for them how to have a growth mindset and you are working on growing your words.  Choose to build-up your relationships by growing your words, choose to be an example of an educator focused on relationship-centered learning. 

Written by: Amanda Lemon

Leave a Repl​​​​​y

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Build relationships in your classroom with the help of NEDRP.

Sign up to get free resources and updates from NEDRP, right in your inbox!

* indicates required