The HP Way: We see each child as a complete person
We create a safe and comforting environment – based on the science of child development – in which each child’s inner thoughts and emotions can be recognized, understood and respected.
Even ordinary things adults take for granted may be unfamiliar to young children. When confronted with something new, children draw on their limited experience with the world to create an explanation. The results can be wildly inaccurate and worrisome.
The HP Way means creating an environment where such inner thoughts can be recognized and discussed without judgment.
It also involves in-depth understanding of the science of child development, providing assurance to parents that their children are developing “normally” – even while they are free to be their most unique selves.
This tangible respect for each child fosters communication and openness you won’t find everywhere else. Children are relieved when someone understands and gives words to their worries before they are willing or able to do so themselves. They respond by acting as if they feel safe and secure – empowering themselves to wonder, learn, explore and inquire.
A teacher relays a story from her classroom:
Devin had been struggling at another school; he started coming to school at Hanna Perkins and was just getting used to it. To help in the adjustment, his mother would stay at the school – but began taking half-hour walks so he could get used to the idea of being there without her.
One day, after Mrs. K had left for her walk, Devin said he thought she wouldn’t come back. I reminded him that she always came back at his other school. He said, “She never took me to school after my sister was born.” He missed mom taking him to and from school, and told me that his mom didn’t like him anymore. He also pointed out that he had seen her drive away this time, rather than walking – evidence to him that she was going somewhere much farther than usual. I assured him that she would be back.
Mrs. K did return on time, and Devin smiled as he saw her pull into a parking space. I talked to Mrs. K.about Devin’s feelings. She had never told Devin that she didn’t like him, but she understood how he might have gotten that feeling when she stopped taking him to and from school.
Mrs. K. was able to talk to Devin about these feelings. Over time, he was able to enjoy being at school even when she wasn’t there.