Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nurtured Heart Approach

I was up into the wee hours of the morning (2:30am) reading what I feel has totally shifted my philosophy on 'behavior management'- Notching Up The Nurtured Heart Approach: The New Inner Wealth Initiative for Educators by Howard Glasser. Our district offers workshops on the Nutured Heart Approach. I used the approach in my classroom this past year, but now realize that I barely scratched the surface! This approach is one that seeks not to change or improve behavior, but rather to meet each student's needs by building up their inner strength to deal with the various situations that impact their life. This is not an approach just for the difficult child, but it is instead a whole-child, whole-class approach.

Glasser says in his book that this approach "is about giving child an unshakeable sense of self-worth with which they can navigate the complex territory of modern life. They will learn to use their intensity to propel success rather than to break rules and create chaos.

Based on the book, there are three 'Stands' that teachers should take in their approach with children in order to build up their 'greatness'

1. Stand 1: Refuse to energize negativity (ABSOLUTELY NO!!)
2. Stand 2: Relentlessly energize success (ABSOLUTELY YES!!)
3. Stand 3: Clearly but un-energetically enforce limits

My mind is so filled with emotion and ideas about how to truly 'notch up' my approach to energizing success through clearly enforcing limits without giving any energy to broken rules or poor choices. I will be posting over the next few days about kinks I plan to work out hopefully leading to a transformation in my use of this approach.

The question I will ponder and post on next is: If my focus is on building up greatness in each child, and refusing to feed into negativity in my classroom, is there really need for a conventional behavior management system with the standard laundry list of warnings and consequences, or is that totally counter-productive to the approach??

Have a wonderful Sunday and happy Father's Day to all you dads out there!!

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