One of The New Century School’s core values is kindness. At the heart of their Montessori-based, yet progressive approach, is being kind to one another–it informs every interaction between teacher and student, between student and peer, and among faculty and administration. Children are not punished or labeled as “bad” when they behave counterproductively–such negative reinforcement is proven ineffective. Rather, they are taught the logical consequences of their actions, such that a disruptive child is removed from a group activity and allowed to pursue a solitary one–always with respect and always with a gentle, encouraging word.
Well TNCS Parents, besides assuaging that natural parent anxiety about how your kids are treated when you’re not around to see, the kindness your kids receive at TNCS does more than give you and them that warm, fuzzy feeling–it’s actually making them smarter, too! A new study from the University of Pennsylvania finds that children who are lovingly nurtured at age 4 years have better developed left lateral cortices–the part of the brain that regulates semantic memory, processes word meanings, and develops general knowledge about the world–as adults.
Furthermore, the researchers report that the cognitive stimulation a child gets from books, music, and educational toys also greatly influences brain development. Although this may come as no surprise to many, it’s nevertheless tremendously satisfying to actually see those measurable neurologic data. Even better, these benefits are reaped independently from genetics.
It’s also tremendously satisfying to know that a child is getting both the nurturing interaction and cognitive stimulation in the TNCS classroom that he or she benefits so greatly from in the home environment. The TNCS faculty play a role that cannot be underestimated in helping our children develop mentally, socially, and emotionally.
Fascinating! I see the fruit of these congenial social interactions played out at home. My kids share toys and look out for each other in so many small ways . . . Well, not all the time, but when they do, I can tell that they are replicating what they see in school, and it makes me feel very, very good!
As a teacher at the school, I was beaming with happiness one day last year when I saw a group of girls playing “school”. Two of the children were vying for role of “Ms. Lazarony” and they went back and forth about who would play that part. After a few minutes of arguing a bit, one of them said “Hey we can have TWO Ms.Lazarony’s”. That was indeed a hallmark moment in my life. Problem solving and conflict resolution are learned skills that can be introduced, modeled and nurtured early-on in life.
But there’s really only ONE Mrs. Lazarony!
I hear my girls use words they learn at school to each other: you are kind, you are sweet, you are thoughtful, you are my beautiful sister and I love you. Fantastic that they bring home these words to use with each other!!! (No…really…they do!!!)
And how great that not only are they being nice to each other in and out of school, but the care in both environments is contributing to their cognitive development! Smart AND nice–watch out world!
It’s not just in the classroom. I often stay after school to play with Julia on the playground, and the after care team are all very caring and affectionate too!