The Nurtured Heart Approach
Changes School Climate and Culture
What is The Nurtured Heart Approach?
The Nurtured Heart Approach is a social emotional curriculum developed for building relationships in which students are intrinsically motivated both academically and pro-socially. With the NHA, teacher/student relationships evolve into a mentoring culture in which students become invested and engaged in the learning process. At its very core the NHA creates intense positive relationships within the academic context. While there are many similar programs that promote positive language, the NHA focuses on the use of language as the scaffolding to build “inner wealth” through every day interactions. Through first hand experiences of success these relationships provide immense opportunities for social emotional development and building of self-confidence. On a broader level, the NHA shifts classroom culture by actively nurturing positive and healthy relationships thereby creating a safe environment for its students.
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The Nurtured Heart Approach changes the way we see things by teaching us to look through a different lens, one that is focused on what is going right instead of what is going wrong. The Nurtured Heart Approach teaches the skill of seeing and energizing the positives by giving students very specific recognitions and praise verses generic compliments that have little or no meaning to students. By giving very specific praise students are more motivated to make better choices both socially and academically. The communication style of the “The Nurtured Heart Approach” helps bring out the positive character traits in students, helping each and every student to become the best version of who they really are. The focus is on noticing what students are doing right and giving positive energy and specific praises for making the right choices, while decreasing the negative energy given to inappropriate behaviors. By energizing and noticing students in this way they soon come to understand that there is more relationship and energy from their teacher when they are making better choices both academically and socially. With “The Nurtured Heart Approach” students feel more engaged during class because they hear their teachers honoring who they are and speaking about their greatness. When students are recognized for their success and positive choices they begin to crave even more recognition for doing the right things. With this new classroom environment students really want to be in class because they want to be a part of their own success. The classroom climate begins to change into a loving place where students feel they belong. And as a result, all students begin to feel more connected not only to their teacher but also to their school.
Geoff Bontrager Ed.S.
Northwest Community Schools
4000 Van Horn Rd
Jackson, MI 49201