Lessons in Gratitude at TNCS

Gratitude, according to psychologists, is the healthiest of all human emotions—good for both giver and receiver alike. Gratitude stimulates the hypothalamus (the brain’s stress regulation center) and the ventral tegmental area, which is a key part of our “reward circuitry” that produces the sensation of pleasure. Hans Selye, a renowned scientist who “discovered” stress, believes that gratitude produces more positive emotional energy than does any other temperament.

We don’t need science to tell us that focusing on life’s positive aspects makes us happier than does dwelling on the negatives—that’s pure common sense, or so says ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus: “He is a man of sense who does not grieve for what he has not, but rejoices in what he has,” as quoted in a recent NY Times article on the subject.


A Thanksgiving Feast to remember, put together by our wonderful TNCS teachers and our faithful TNCS parent volunteers.

This month, students at The New Century School have been demonstrating gratitude in all kinds of ways, from giving back to the local community to collaborating on a special feast (and, true to the TNCS spirit, in multiple languages!).

After donating a good-sized food collection to community outreach center Beans & Bread during American Education Week—and thank you to the Burton family for delivering the TNCS collection—TNCS students used the following week to show their thanks a little closer to home. First, Head of School Alicia Danyali interviewed the Upper Elementary students for their thoughts on what they are grateful for. Here are some highlights:

  • “I am thankful for my health.”
  • “I am thankful for my family and the opportunities they have given me.”
  • “I am thankful for my family, food, and really everything.”

Professor Manuel’s K/1st students made cornucopias holding pictures of family members—and worked in plenty of relevant Spanish vocabulary!

Finally, Li Laoshi and Yangyang Laoshi filmed Lower Elementary students expressing their gratitude for their family members in Mandarin.

It all culminated with the annual Thanksgiving Feast, which K/1st teacher Teresa Jacoby started off with a moving thank-you to the students, fellow teachers, and the TNCS families who together make up our magnificent community.

This time of year brings out the best in us, but we can do ourselves a lot of good by making gratitude a routine all year long. That’s what TNCS students seem to be telling us anyway.

And so thank you, as always, for reading!

TNCS Visits Schools in China!


2015 Chinese Bridge–American School Principals’ Trip to China Forum

This month, The New Century School was pleased and honored to be part of the 2015 Chinese Bridge Delegation to China. This annual 9-day educational program aims to help K–12 schools strengthen their Chinese programs and partnerships. School visits, cultural activities, and educational workshops comprise the itinerary for this very special opportunity.

The delegation is hosted by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters in China in conjunction with The K–12 College Board. Hanban is the executive body of the Chinese Language Council International, an organization affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education of China. Hanban’s mission is to “[make] Chinese language and culture teaching resources and services available to the world, to [meet] the demands of overseas Chinese learners to the utmost, [and] to [contribute] to the formation of a world of cultural diversity and harmony.”

The 250-member delegation comprising school representatives from all across the United States arrived in Beijing on November 10th and from there dispersed into smaller groups to visit respective provinces. TNCS had the good fortune to visit Tianjin, a bustling port city of ~15 million residents in northeastern China. Tianjin’s mix of traditional and modern architecture is quite renowned, perhaps only slightly less famous than its cuisine. In Tianjin, guests are traditionally welcomed with all manner of noodle dishes and bade farewell with an equal variety of dumplings. But the most well-known Tianjin delicacy is “da mahua,” or 麻花.

Despite all of the amazing sights Tianjin had to offer such as Wudadao (Five Great Avenues) and the surrounding historic districts, however, the real purpose of the visit was to tour schools. TNCS was very warmly welcomed by Kunming Road Primary School and Weishan Road High School, with whom friendships were made and future partnerships proposed.

During the school visits, the delegation met with Chinese educators, observed classes, and interacted with students. The graciousness with which Principal Li and Principle Wen welcomed the delegation into their respective schools was wonderful to experience. It was clear that they were striving to impress the delegation in the hopes of establishing meaningful partnerships with U.S. schools.

The Tianjin visit culminated with a very special tour of Tianjin International Chinese College, which hosts students from abroad to learn the Mandarin Chinese language and be immersed in several facets of Chinese culture.

After a few days, the delegation in its entirety regrouped in Beijing to visit one more primary school, network with U.S. colleagues, attend presentations on best practices, and gather resources to build and support Chinese language and culture programs. TNCS will soon reap the benefits of this incredibly productive visit to China from increased idea exchange and resources as well as personal contacts.

Everywhere the delegation went, they received four-star treatment . . . and lots of entertainment in the form of singing, dancing, and more. TNCS students might just recognize this lovely song . . .

感谢您阅读! Gǎnxiè nín yuèdú!

You are NOT Human!

This week, Immersed is thrilled to bring you a guest blog post on the human microbiome by Dr. Anne M. Estes, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine in Baltimore.

You are NOT Human!

When you look in the mirror, what you do not see is extremely important for your health. Meet your microbiome—all the  bacteria, fungi, and viruses living in and on you [1]. While scientists are unsure exactly how many microbial cells are present in and on humans, we currently estimate that there are at least three times more and perhaps ten or one hundred times the number of microbial cells than human cells [2]. Hey—wait—back away from the hand sanitizer! The vast majority of these microbes are helpful. We’ve been brought up to think of viruses and bacteria strictly as “germs” that cause disease, but without helpful microbes you wouldn’t be able to properly digest your food [3] and would lack certain vitamins [4–6]. In fact, it’s the loss of these helpful microbes that corresponds with an increase in several diseases including diabetes, allergies, asthma, obesity, autism, and numerous digestive system disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohn disease, and celiac disease. The symptoms with each of these diseases is different. However, the National Institutes of Health–funded Human Microbiome Project (HMP) and other projects have discovered that people with each of these ailments have a microbiome that is strikingly different from that of healthy people [7–11]. This information about the human microbiome is changing the way both basic science and medicine think about human health [12].

Left: Diversity of animals living in different habitats of the Earth. Right: Different bacteria found on individual people.

Left: Diversity of animals living in different habitats of the Earth. Right: Different bacteria found on individual people.

You are a Planet!

You are a home for trillions of microbial cells [13–16]. A walking, talking, microbial planet. The bacterial component of the microbiome is best understood. Bacteria are so tiny that millions of them can fit on the antennae of an ant. The ratio of the size of the common gut bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) compared to your body is similar to the ratio of a human body compared to the Earth. Just like the Earth has different habitats–mountains, lakes, deserts, swamps–so does the human body. In each of the Earth and human habitats, specific organisms flourish in those particular conditions. Different bacteria, fungi, and viruses live in the rainforest-like habitat of your armpit than live in the hot, dry, low nutrient, and high UV intensive desert-like habitat of the back of your hand. The HMP set out to map out some of the bacterial habitats of the human body. To visualize these different communities, the HMP made a neat interactive program called SitePainter that maps where a certain bacterium is found on the body [17]. Try it out and see which bacteria are found in various locations. As you switch between bacterial types, you’ll see how many or few places they can live. You may also notice microhabitats within larger habitats. In the mouth, some bacteria are only found in a portion of the plaque near the tooth surface. Others, only in the dry skin behind the ear.

An Image captured from SitePainter demonstrating the different habitats where various bacteria are found.

An Image captured from SitePainter demonstrating the different habitats where various bacteria are found.

Create your own map at http://www.hmpdacc.org/sp/.

Take a minute to imagine how many different bacterial habitats are on and in you. How do you think the temperature, moisture, and nutrients in your bellybutton compare to your nostril? Stomach? Mouth? Front teeth versus molars? Each different mixture of these physical parameters potentially creates a new habitat. Add in the amount of oxygen, pH, and osmolarity of the body habitat as well and you can quickly think about the vast diversity of bacterial habitats your body has, especially for microscopic organisms. I doubt anyone has calculated a specific number of body habitat sites and that number doesn’t really matter. What is important is that when considered from a microscopic organism’s perspective, in and on your body are a vast array of potential places to live. How these microbes get to the particular habitat and survive and how they are restricted from other habitats is under study.

What you DO with that body and what you feed your body will also change the habitat for your bacterial residents. Do you bathe daily? Weekly? Do you use antibiotic soaps? Play in the dirt? the ocean? your room? Do you have a dog? Cat? Gerbil? Baby sister? How were you born? What were you fed as an infant? All of these factors can change your resident microbiome. Harsh cleaners and antibiotics can damage your natural microbiome. Where you play and what you play with may introduce new microbes from the environment to your residential microbiome if there are open spaces for the bacteria to live in and the proper conditions for them to survive.

You Never Dine Alone

You’re colonized with trillions of bacteria. So what? These invisible inhabitants of Planet You are quite important. Sometimes they are breaking down nutrients or toxins, sometimes they make vitamins, other times they simply take up a space and prevent a pathogen from living there. In many cases, scientists are just beginning to understand what’s going on and new features are frequently discovered. In some cases, these bacteria are working together with other bacteria or other microbes to feed off of one another. In the macro-ecosystems of Planet Earth, plants use carbon dioxide that animals exhale and the sun’s energy to make sugars to help themselves grow. Plants “exhale” oxygen as a waste product of this sugar making process (called photosynthesis). Animals can then use the oxygen and plant sugars, as well as animal proteins, to help themselves grow. Plants and animals feed off of and recycle each other’s waste products. Without oxygen from photosynthesis, animals would not live. The ecosystem would collapse.

Similarly, microbes use each other’s waste products to grow. One microbe’s waste products are another microbe’s dinner. Particular microbes have distinct sets of genes that allow those microbes to break down specific nutrients from what the host eats. For example, some digestive system bacteria feed on plant fibers. If their human host doesn’t eat any or very little complex plant fibers, the bacteria will not get fed. Some of these bacterial types may turn to feeding on the protective mucus the large intestine produces and creates problems for the host [18]. Others may enter a dormant stage waiting for the food they can eat. Other bacteria synthesize vitamins such as the B vitamins and vitamin K. Without those vitamins, the human host can have a range of problems from decreased blood clotting to immune and nervous system problems [19].

You Microbial Planet, You

From head to toes, inside and out, you are a planet for your resident microbes. Though these microbes are invisible to the naked eye, their importance is becoming increasingly apparent. As Earth has a series of habitats with characteristic organisms, so does the human body. Without the many microbes that call you home, your ecosystem can malfunction. Diet is one of the key ways to take care of your microbiome. A future post here will discuss what is currently known about the influence of diet on the gut microbiome. For more information on the interaction between microbes and human health, see my blog Mostly Microbes. It is my hope that my blog will serve to connect you to this invisible and essential part of yourself.


  1. Lederberg, J., and A. McCray. 2001. Ome sweet ‘omics:—A genealogical treasury of words, p. 8. The Scientist, vol. 15.
  2. The Human Microbiome Project Consortium. 2012. Structure, function and diversity of the healthy human microbiome. Nature 486:207–214.
  3. Cantarel, B. L., V. Lombard, and B. Henrissat. 2012. Complex carbohydrate utilization by the healthy human microbiome. PLoS ONE 7:e28742.
  4. LeBlanc, J. G., C. Milani, G. S. de Giori, F. Sesma, D. van Sinderen, and M. Ventura. 2013. Bacteria as vitamin suppliers to their host: a gut microbiota perspective. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 24:160–168.
  5. Hausmann, K. 1955. The significance of intestinal bacteria for vitamin B12 and folic acid supply in humans and animals. Klin Wochenschr 33:354–9.
  6. Albert, M. J., V. I. Mathan, and S. J. Baker. 1980. Vitamin B12 synthesis by human small intestinal bacteria. Nature 283:781-2.
  7. Cho, I., and M. J. Blaser. 2012. The human microbiome: at the interface of health and disease. Nat Rev Genet 13:260-270.
  8. Hofer, U. 2014. Microbiome: Bacterial imbalance in Crohn’s disease. Nat Rev Micro 12:312–313.
  9. Turnbaugh, P., M. Hamady, T. Yatsunenko, B. Cantarel, A. Duncan, R. Ley, M. Sogin, W. Jones, B. Roe, J. Affourtit, et al. 2009. A core gut microbiome in obese and lean twins. Nature 457:480–484.
  10. Ley, R., P. Turnbaugh, S. Klein, and J. Gordon. 2006. Microbial ecology: human gut microbes associated with obesity. Nature 444:1022–1023.
  11. Qin, J., Y. Li, Z. Cai, S. Li, J. Zhu, F. Zhang, S. Liang, W. Zhang, Y. Guan, D. Shen, et al. 2012. A metagenome-wide association study of gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes. Nature 490:55–60.
  12. Khanna, S., and P. K. Tosh. 2014. A clinician’s primer on the role of the microbiome in human health and disease. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 89:107–114.
  13. Costello, E. K., K. Stagaman, L. Dethlefsen, B. J. M. Bohannan, and D. A. Relman. 2012. The Application of Ecological Theory Toward an Understanding of the Human Microbiome. Science 336:1255–1262.
  14. Zhou, Y., H. Gao, K. Mihindukulasuriya, P. La Rosa, K. Wylie, T. Vishnivetskaya, M. Podar, B. Warner, P. Tarr, D. Nelson, et al. 2013. Biogeography of the ecosystems of the healthy human body. Genome Biology 14:R1.
  15. Pepper, J. W., and S. Rosenfeld. 2012. The emerging medical ecology of the human gut microbiome. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 27:381–384.
  16. Turnbaugh, P., R. Ley, M. Hamady, C. Fraser-Liggett, R. Knight, and J. Gordon. 2007. The human microbiome project. Nature 449:804–810.
  17. Gonzalez, A., J. Stombaugh, C. L. Lauber, N. Fierer, and R. Knight. 2012. SitePainter: a tool for exploring biogeographical patterns. Bioinformatics 28:436–8.
  18. Johansson, M. E., J. K. Gustafsson, J. Holmen-Larsson, K. S. Jabbar, L. Xia, H. Xu, F. K. Ghishan, F. A. Carvalho, A. T. Gewirtz, H. Sjovall, et al. 2014. Bacteria penetrate the normally impenetrable inner colon mucus layer in both murine colitis models and patients with ulcerative colitis. Gut 63:281–91.
  19. Kau, A. L., P. P. Ahern, N. W. Griffin, A. L. Goodman, and J. I. Gordon. 2011. Human nutrition, the gut microbiome, and immune system: envisioning the future. Nature 474:327–336.

About Anne:

Dr. Anne Estes.

Dr. Anne Estes.

Dr. Anne M. Estes currently does research on dung beetle microbiomes as a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine in Baltimore. Anne is also known as “mama” by two curious and fun little ladies, ages 2 and 7. Though her blog, Mostly Microbes, Anne explores the interactions between microbes and their human hosts. She focuses on the importance of the human microbiome for and during pregnancy, birth, infancy, and early childhood. Microbiology themed kids and adult books, education tools, games, and resources are also featured on Mostly Microbes.

Go Outside and Get Dirty, Kids!

The following is transcribed from a recent The Nature of Things broadcast by W. Brooks Paternotte on WYPR. The message—that kids need to play outside and get into some dirt—was so well crafted that it is quoted here for The New Century School community in its entirety.

Remember playing outside until mom called you in for dinner? Me too. I would ride my bike in the twilight and listen to cricket and cicada songs. My sister would be searching the nearby woods with a magnifying glass, in hopes of finding fairies. My brother would be painstakingly making mud pies. Today’s kids, though? I don’t think they’ll have those kinds of memories.

In the last two decades, childhood has overwhelmingly moved indoors. Children are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago. In fact, the average American girl or boy spends an alarmingly low 30 minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day. But, he or she might spend 7 1/2 hours each day in front of an electronic screen. That’s about 53 hours of screen time a week.

This shift toward staying inside profoundly impacts the wellness of our nation’s youngsters. Childhood obesity rates have more than doubled over last 20 years. The United States has become the largest consumer of ADHD medications in the world, and pediatric prescriptions for antidepressants have risen exponentially. And yet, in a typical week, only 6% of children ages 9 to 13 play outside on their own.

So what’s a parent to do in the face of such startling statistics? As with many problems, the first step is getting help. You’ve heard that it takes a village to raise a child? Well, environmental educators believe it takes a backyard, a playground, or a park.

Start getting in touch with nature by spending time outdoors with the children you know. It could be as simple as taking a walk through the neighborhood or lifting up a rock to see what’s underneath. Every moment in a child’s life provides an opportunity for discovery—whether it’s seeing tiny turtles emerging from the sand and making their way to the ocean, or watching a spider weave its delicate web. These are experiences that will inspire them. My favorite suggestion for families is to try to grow something together. It could be flowers or vegetables, or even something imaginary. But get kids’ hands in the soil! When they play in dirt, we’re not only allowing them to explore the wonders around them, we’re also exposing them to healthy bacteria, parasites, and viruses that can create a much stronger immune system.

Study show that simply having contact with dirt can significantly improve a child’s mood and reduce their anxiety and stress. In fact, multiple studies have shown that childrens’ stress levels fall dramatically within minutes of seeing green spaces. Even more studies have concluded that outdoor time helps children grow lean and strong, enhances imaginations and attention spans, decreases aggression, and boosts classroom performance. In addition, children who spend time in nature regularly become better stewards of our environment.

Maybe try volunteering for organizations that support wildlife or the outdoors. Or get an amazing dose of vitamin D, which can help protect children from future bone problems, by going camping. You don’t have to go far—Irvine Nature Center recently doubled in size and has out-there-feeling camping experiences that can make even the grumpiest of teenagers nicer and more social. Really! Studies have shown that connection to the natural world can make that big of a difference for all of us!

As a community, I think we can change the nature of childhood for the better—we can put nature back in it! For more ideas, check out Nature Rocks, a program of the Nature Conservancy. it’s an online resource that makes it easy for families to have fun in nature.


TNCS Honors Dia de los Muertos!


Mary from Maja gave a presentation to the students about how Day of the Dead originated and what it symbolizes.

In keeping with the school’s core strength of exploring cultural heritage and traditions around the world, The New Century School students learned all about Dia de los Muertos this month. Known as the Day of the Dead in English, this Latin American holiday honors deceased loved ones each November 1st with lively festivals and celebrations. Rather than being morbid, this celebration is full of happiness and joy because those who have passed on would be insulted by mourning or sadness.

Dia de los Muertos recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and maturity, to become a contributing member of the community. On this day, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with their loved ones.


The handmade altar in Maja’s storefront is beautiful.

The most familiar symbols of Dia de los Muertos are the calacas and calaveras (skeletons and skulls), which are almost always portrayed as enjoying life, often in fancy dress and engaged in entertaining activities. These can be seen everywhere, but especially gracing the altars or shrines that many make on which to place offerings of, for example, food, candles, incense, marigolds (the traditional flower used to honor the dead), and photos and mementos of departed souls.


The ladies from Maja are true artists and passed on some of their craft to TNCS students.


This is fun waiting to happen!

For this year’s Dia de los Muertos, TNCS students joined forces with Maja, a Fell’s Point boutique featuring “an international collection of clothing, jewelry, artifacts, home decor, crafts and music” to craft a special Day of the Dead display. The ladies who own and run Maja visited TNCS’s K/1st classrooms to collaborate on a sugar skull–making workshop, and the grinning, glittering, feathered, festive results can be seen in front of Maja’s altar, located on the corner of Aliceanna and Ann Streets and visible from the store windows. Maja’s unique celebration will culminate with an in-store party with “sweets, treats, laughter, music, and stories” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Sunday, November 1st. A Frida Kahlo lookalike contest is also on the itinerary—not to be missed!


Can you spot your child’s sugar skull?

After making their sugar skulls, TNCS students watched The Book of Life (in Spanish, ¡por supuesto!), which takes place during a Day of the Dead celebration and emphasizes the importance of writing a good story for your life—fulfilling your potential, in other words. Once the sugar skulls were dry, they were taken to Maja, where you can drop by and see them . . . and maybe even leave a memento on the altar for a departed loved one.

TNCS K/1st Classes Get to the Core of Apple-Harvesting!

A trend in U.S. schools in the last few decades has been to reduce the number of field trips outside of school. Whether because this brief “truancy” from school prevents educators from attaining their stringent in-class goals or because such trips are treated as rewards for good behavior (in which case, the trip is more likely to be escapist than educational), the original purpose of field trips seems to have been largely obscured.

Fortunately, The New Century School has not forgotten that culturally enriching field trips broaden students’ minds and horizons—similar to how reading books does, except that this experience is first hand. A recent study from the University of Arkansas demonstrated that students learn quite a lot on field trips: “In particular, enriching field trips contribute to the development of students into civilized young men and women who possess more knowledge about art, have stronger critical-thinking skills, exhibit increased historical empathy, display higher levels of tolerance, and have a greater taste for consuming art and culture.”


Away we go!

Last week, all three Kindergarten/First-Grade classes traveled to Milburn Orchards in Elkton, MD to learn about apple harvesting. Milburn Orchards was an appropriate destination for TNCS students for many reasons: they have been family owned and operated since 1902, they are committed to sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices, and they offer local produce—something that TNCS’s Garden Tuck Shop values highly. Although the kids enjoyed the interactive activities and being outdoors on a gorgeous fall day, the trip was bursting with educational opportunities, from history to agriculture to engineering, so they learned bushels while having fun!

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So load up the old yellow school bus kids, field trips at TNCS are here to stay!

Cutting Edge Skills at TNCS

A recent Food for Thought article that aired on NPR explored the seemingly counterintuitive notion of letting toddlers play with knives. Sujata Gupta, the author and mother of a 3-year-old, writes, “Both my mother and mother-in-law recoiled when I suggested letting my son try his hand at chopping. Yet research, and the experience of educators, suggest that parents such as me would be wise to hand a tot a knife.”

That “recoil” is understandable, given that maternal instincts are to protect, not arm our children with implements of self-destruction. But, as Gupta discovers, allowing small children to wield real tools is a means of attaining self-efficacy, something that kids these days urgently need.

It may come as no surprise to TNCS parents that The New Century School has always operated according to this principle. TNCS primary classrooms follow the classic Montessori curriculum, a huge part of which is fostering independence, even in the very young. The Montessori philosophy is based on the observation that children learn by doing. They crave hands-on experiences, which is also a form of “play.” (In this sense, there’s a profound difference between “playing with knives” and “playing” with knives. The former is an invitation to accidents; the latter is an absorptive lesson in proper use.)

Of course, TNCS students are not handed honorary steak knives on matriculation. Step by step and through practice with preliminary “works,” they earn the privilege of using knives in the classroom for helping with food preparation in the Practical Life mode of the curriculum. Says TNCS primary teacher Martellies Warren: “I trust students with real tools once they show that they can be responsible individuals in other areas of the curriculum—such as if they have mastered or are working toward mastery in the art of using materials with care, working with materials from start to finish, working independently, caring for the classroom environment, and just overall being gentle and empathetic toward others.”

Catherine Lawson, TNCS’s most senior Montessori teacher, agrees. “Children want to do activities that include using knives; however, they know that they have to show that they are focused and responsible.” Once students have shown this level of consistency, says Mr. Warren, “they are allowed to use such tools as knives, hammers, graters, and peelers to prepare real food as well as serve themselves and each other.”


A TNCS primary student carefully spreads hummus on mini toast.

TNCS primary teacher Maria Mosby describes her process this way: “We use knives for spreading first (hummus, cream cheese, sunflower seed butter). The kids love to practice spreading butter on their bread at lunch time, and it’s a great opportunity to help out and practice at home with toast or sandwiches.”

Once the children demonstrate responsible spreading, they can move on to slicing, starting with softer foods and progressing to firmer fruits and vegetables. “We always stay nearby, but trust that the children are capable,” said Ms. Mosby.

And that, says Mr. Warren, encapsulates the “spirit and uniqueness of the Montessori philosophy!” He says that this type of “honor system” stems from Maria Montessori’s belief that the child should self-direct. “I often tell parents to ‘let go and trust’ their little individuals. In my experience this has been one of the most challenging task for parents to do.”


A TNCS primary student cuts cucumbers, slices bread, and spreads cream cheese to make a cucumber sandwich.

Letting go and trusting might come more easily if parents knew just how successful this model is for cultivating that self-efficacy mentioned above. Ms. Mosby offers this explanation: “I have never been let down. I think it’s the fact that the students know they are using real tools that makes such a difference. They don’t use them as weapons. They are very careful and know that tools used improperly can be harmful.”

So, as Gupta says, “Go ahead and give your toddler a kitchen knife.” You might just get breakfast in bed from your aspiring cheflets.