Effective tools to build teacher-student relationships
As we come out of the pandemic, we understand that students and teachers are still feeling unprecedented levels of stress, uncertainty, and anxiety. Our tools will help you re-establish and reconnect in meaningful ways with your students, colleagues, friends, and family.
Our Simple Approach to Connection is a set of tools and skills that you can use when meeting a student for the first time, when dealing with an angry outburst, or when you find a student crying alone in the hallway.
A sense of connection is a core human need
We train educators and staff in emotional intelligence skills to quickly build trust and connection with every student.
Our approach fosters authenticity, genuine listening, and compassionate support so that students and staff uncover solutions to their problems, and find the relief and support that comes in sharing and connecting with others.
- Learn how to build interpersonal connections quickly.
- Create more trust with co-workers, students, family and friends.
- Learn how to train others in this approach.
How do we do it?
Our simple approach is called CLRS: Curiosity, Listen, Respect, and Support.
What if we adults could adopt a few simple techniques to help kids make good decisions, free up their own authentic wisdom, AND build closer relationships?
What are the Benefits of our Approach?
It is our fundamental belief that people want better connections with each other at work, home, school, and with friends. Our hectic lives and reliance on social media have made meaningful connections more challenging than ever.
Our CLRS approach provides a way to build those connections quickly. This approach has many benefits.
Enhanced Mental Health
I’m getting training on how to listen to middle school students, the ideas of acceptance and listening, and the importance of not trying to fix anyone. We just listen to kids talk, and that’s the most important thing we can do.
This experience has been invaluable to me because I’m learning what I don’t know. And I’m learning how much better I can be in working with students.
I noticed right away how tuned in Larry is. He can read our body language and read the people in our group and knows where to put his attention, his focus. It’s a good skill for me to recognize -- I can take this idea and be more aware of the whole background situation while I’m listening to one person.
With a Master's degree in psychology, I thought I knew how to handle a lot of different situations. Then I started using CLRS and my relationship with the teens we serve and with our staff has dramatically improved. I find I can connect quickly with teens I've never met before. I'm stepping into leadership with grace, and without stress.
What I’m learning is that kids just want someone to listen to them. The art of listening is everything!
After only 30 minutes, I feel inspired and connected. . . and I discovered there is a lot of power in just being curious.
Just want to let you know we had our first circle on Friday morning before we started class and it went very well. I explained what we’re doing and the kids got right into it right away. A few of them that rarely speak opened up big time and I understood what made them tick because they were talking about relationships at home how that affects them at school. They also talked about their frustration with other kids bullying them. I have been with these students for 6 months and I’d never known this. Thank you for showing me a new way to really connect with my students!
Ethan's Personal Journey
Over the course of two years, I’ve been able to overcome challenges in my life, like facing myself and looking at who I want to be, and then changing my life so that I can achieve that and be a better person.
- I’ve also overcome my urge to use drugs.
- I’m now I’m more able to help and support my family because we don’t have what everybody else has.
- I think it’s really cool that I’ve been able to turn my life around like that.
- Now I think of myself more positively and I feel good about who I am.
- I found I can take that to other kids and help them feel better about themselves.
Meet our Team
Larry is a national leader in training adults across the country to effectively lead discussion circles for teens. He has a Masters's Degree in Human Development and is a frequent speaker at various symposiums and conferences.
Larry is the co-founder of The Circle Dynamics Group and has 9 years of professional experience leading discussion circles and training others to effectively lead conversations with emotional intelligence.
He has been the School Circle Coordinator for Boys to Men Arizona where he supervised and supported multiple discussion circles each week across five school districts. Larry has served on the Board of Directors for Boys to Men USA where he trained new mentors across the country in leading conversations with emotional intelligence and developing new Boys to Men centers.
He enjoys hiking the deserts and mountains of Arizona, photography, and dreaming up more training programs.
Harry is a co-founder of Circle Dynamics Group. He has a Master’s degree in psychology and has focused in the past 20 years on teaching personal and spiritual growth.
Harry has a Master’s degree in psychology and has focused in the past twenty years on teaching personal and spiritual growth through workshops, seminars, and one-on-one sessions with individuals around the world.
He also authored the book, Freedom from Anxiety. He has refined his skills in running circles in our method, on a weekly basis in the local high school as a volunteer, and facilitating training for circle leaders along with Larry, Adam, and Tyler.
His mission is to awaken and empower all that seek to discover their authentic and greater self.
Adam has a Masters Degree in Teaching, was a high school teacher for 10 years, and has 6 years of mentoring experience with Boys to Men Mentoring as the Program Director.
Adam was a classroom teacher for more than ten years and while he enjoyed teaching, he has found that being a mentor was an incredibly rewarding experience. He has learned so much by sitting in discussion circles and listening to young people talk about what they are going through, what they dream of doing and what challenges they face.
Adam grew up in New York state and has lived in Japan, Hawaii, and has spent the last 20 years in Arizona.
Adam shares his home with his wonderful wife, teenage daughter and 3 cats.