This is the second in a series about our Nurtured Heart Approach trainers who work at The Meher Schools.
"My dedication to using the Nurtured Heart Approach is just as much for my growth as for the children,” says Room 8 kindergarten teacher Caryl Morton, one of three certified Nurtured Heart trainers on our staff. “It allows me to accept my mistakes, just as it allows that in children. If ever I respond to a child with irritation or impatience, Nurtured Heart has taught me how to quickly turn that around into something positive and loving.”
Caryl was introduced to the Nurtured Heart Approach in 2003, when the program’s founder, Howard Glasser, gave a workshop at our school. “His talk was inspiring, and I wanted to learn more.”
We’re nourishing the child in ways that help them become who they are.
People often think of the Nurtured Heart Approach in terms of altering children’s behavior, but it’s more than that, Caryl notes. ”Behavior can change as a side benefit, but something much deeper is going on. Every time we respond to behavior in the Nurtured Heart way – giving no energy to the negative and tons of energy to the positive – we’re nourishing the child in ways that help them become who they are. None of our effort is lost, even if changes in behavior come slowly.”
In her classroom, “we’re always looking for ways to offer these bits of ‘nourishment,’ often during our gem jar time. We highlight different children, naming great qualities we’ve observed in them that day. Then they get to put a gem in the jar. Another sweet consequence of this is that the children also begin to contribute to this discussion. They offer gems to other children and remark on something positive they’ve noticed. They’re quick to notice kindness, generosity, and cooperation in their classmates.”
Caryl has taught in our kindergarten for 17 years. She became a Nurtured Heart trainer in 2012. In that role, she has given talks at staff meetings, assisted in presentations to parents, and consulted with parents.