Early Release in Action: ENVoY Training at Meadow Park Middle School
Teachers and counselors at Meadow Park Middle School gathered in the library during early release on the first Wednesday in December for the second of two ENVoY trainings led by Cedar Park teachers Darla McClelland and Denise Cooney. Denise has been using ENVoY techniques in her Humanities classrooms since 2006.
ENVoY is a strategy of non-verbal communication, group dynamics, and influence skills to establish an educational environment that nourishes positive student-teacher relationships. When used consistently, ENVoY techniques shift educators from seeing themselves as upholders of power to instruments of influence. ENVoY focuses on how to use effective eye contact, voice patterns and body language (including the use of location).
Teachers formed table groups and role-played classroom scenarios using their newly-acquired skills, asking questions and sharing their own classroom experiences.
"We decided to move forward with ENVoY training to help give our staff a common language around classroom management strategies. That common language should help students because they will all experience similar responses to behaviors across the school, which allows them to feel safe and supported," says principal Jared Freeman.
Expected outcomes of the use of ENVoY skills include fewer disciplinary incidents, improved student attendance, higher student grades, higher staff morale, and a lower level of staff burn-out. Teachers who systematically utilize the full range of non-verbal management skills are able to reinforce consistent and fair boundaries while preserving their relationships with each student, regardless of unique learning styles or cultural backgrounds.
"I've already seen staff using some of the material from the first professional development, so I look forward to seeing what is put in place after this one," says Freeman.
Mountain View and Meadow Park middle schools have both participated in school-wide ENVoY training. Additional individual trainings will be offered throughout the remainder of the school year during early release Week 3 professional development.