STATE — University of Maine Cooperative Extension will host, “Teaching from the Heart: Nonviolent Communication in the Elementary Classroom” an online professional development program from 3:30-5 p.m. Oct. 24-26.

The program aims to equip educators and elementary school teachers with tools and techniques to foster a compassionate and inclusive classroom environment using nonviolent communication principles.

Using practical exercises and engaging resources, teachers will learn how to effectively communicate with students, resolve conflicts peacefully, build strong relationships based on empathy and understanding, and help create a safe and supportive space where students feel heard, valued, and respected.

The program covers various topics, including active listening, expressing feelings and needs, empathetic response, and collaborative problem-solving. Teachers will also learn strategies to address challenging behaviors, use children’s literature to implement nonviolent communication in the classroom, promote positive communication, and cultivate a sense of belonging among students. The online platform also provides a supportive community where teachers can connect, share experiences, and receive guidance from an experienced facilitator.

This program is designed to benefit teachers, educators, after-school program staff, caregivers, guidance and summer camp counselors, parents, grandparents, and other caregivers.

Program facilitator Gina Simm, who has a background in Montessori education and spent most of her career as a first-grade teacher, has over 30 years of experience in early childhood education. She is the co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication.

A stable internet connection is required. Participants will receive a certificate of completion, and 0.6 CEUs/6 contact hours are available upon request. The program cost is $175 per person.

The registration deadline is Oct. 13 and participants are encouraged to purchase Gina Simm’s book, Heart to Heart: Three Systems for Staying Connected (A Manual for Parents and Teachers).

For more information and to sign up, visit the program webpage. To request a reasonable accommodation contact Kimberly Lai,; 207.338.8002.

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