Inspired by New Way training, teachers and volunteers have been working on making aspects of the training accessible to public school students and teachers.
A group of educators and volunteers are working on a New Way classroom curriculum that not only incorporates the principles of nonviolence, but also the Common Core Standards that most schools are required to follow.
The inspiration came as one teacher who also volunteers with Something New began implementing parts of the training in her class: “I have been a classroom teacher 22 years, in 3 different school districts, in 3 different states. In every classroom in every state I would see similar problems. Students do not know how to communicate,or problem solve.
I have used different peer mediation and conflict resolution programs, and even written one. But they just teach students a problem solving method. With nonviolence, it is more than a method, but an understanding of each other. Or even an understand that others are different, and that is okay. Seek First to understand and then be understood.
“I am in a very diverse school now. The children loved sharing about their own cultures. But it was interesting teaching 2 sections of Social Studies and seeing that both classes came up with similar things they valued.” -Teresa
As Teresa was seeing the immediate impact in her classroom, Jess (another Something New volunteer) was finishing her graduate degree and wanted to focus on nonviolence training in the classroom as her final master’s project:
“I chose to do my Masters project on creating activities and lessons that incorporate the nonviolence principles because I had seen, first hand, the positive effects of nonviolence activities in my classroom. After doing a few activities that I learned from the New Way training program, my students began to work through conflict by communicating with one another and speaking out when they felt something was wrong. To see students stand up for their classmate as they were getting picked on, inspired me to dig deeper into the principles to create more activities to deepen the love and understanding between the students in my class.” – Jess
When Jess and Teresa realized they were working on the same concepts, they invited others to brainstorm with them and our newest New Way project was born.
For the next school year, the team will be working with administrators and educators in the local school system to bring New Way in.
You can follow our journey and learn more about New Way HERE.