Kindness Counts!

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.

child is being guided to better hallway behavior by a teacher

A child is gently redirected by a teacher

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.

girl helps younger student by getting him some materials to work with and providing basic instructions

An older child kindly helps a younger classmate engage with stimulating materials

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.