Blue Sky School and the Nurtured Heart Approach - by Grace and Emi

The Nurtured Heart Approach by Grace (with consultation from Emi)

The “Nurtured Heart Approach” (NHA) is an approach we use at school and are encouraged to use in other areas of our life.
This approach was introduced to us by our very own Karen who is very familiar with it and uses frequently in her day to
day life. She has also applied it to her old BIP classroom at Bridlewood. NHA is a practice for  seeing people and the world
in a more positive light through the power of kindness. The way it works is simple, you give tons of energy to the positive
things you notice, and zero energy to the negative things you see. 

How do you do this? It’s simple, once you see somebody doing something that's nurturing the environment or their learning 
in any way, especially the little things, you stop and recognize that person for it in a real and authentic way. For example, you
see someone open the door for someone else, stop them, say something like: “I just want to stop and recognize you Norman
because I see you helping by opening the door without even being asked, this shows me that you are kind and have integrity.
thank you so much.” Likely after that, Norman will make a point of opening the door frequently because the recognition
made him see the positive in himself. 

Let’s go in a different direction now, say someone is exampling negative behaviors. As I have stated prior, give absolutely
no energy. The other aspect of NHA is clear expectations. This is key because without this, Nurtured Heart will not work.
This means absolute no absolute yes. Absolute no energy to negative.  Even if you smile silently during the time in which
someone is exampling negative behaviors, it could throw the person off by giving him/her/they mixed messages. A
common example of this is if a student, Norman in this case, is tired and a little silly during class, Norman might act out
on an impulse and disrupt the class, in this scenario if the students were following NHA, they would give absolutely no
energy to the disregulated student, Norman. Norman would likely recognize this and know not to repeat it again since he
is getting no energy from the rest of the students. 

You might be wondering now how the disregulated student will calm down if he is getting no energy. In NHA, we call
this taking a reset. The job of the coach in the prior scenario is to tell the student to take a reset. The important thing here
is a reset is not a punishment, it is a way to help you get back on track if you are having an off moment/day. A reset can
look like multiple things. It could be going for a run or workout or even taking a big deep breath. This helps to centre
yourself and reconnect with the environment.

The approach takes a lot of work, and is a complete shift from what we are currently implementing in not only schools,
but in life. We believe here at Blue Sky that this approach could change the world. By highlighting kindness, we are
lifting up the people around us, and we are lifting up ourselves. Be kind, always.

“Kindness is seeing the best in people when they are unable to see it in themselves”

-Mother Teresa


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