What is Heart-Centered Teaching and Why Is It Key for Your Successful Classroom?

classroom management classroom routines heart centered classroom
What is Heart-Centered Teaching and Why Is It Key for Your Successful Classroom?

Heart-centered teaching is the most effective way to approach teaching. 

Whether you’ve never heard of heart-centered teaching before today or you’re interested in learning how to use this approach in your classroom, it will absolutely change your life and your students’ lives.

Becoming a heart-centered teacher is the best way to fall back in love with teaching, find true balance and joy in your job and your life, and change your students’ lives for the better. 

Heart-centered teaching changes everything. So let’s get into it!

What is heart-centered teaching?

At its core, heart-centered teaching is about seeing and treating each student in your classroom as a person who deserves to feel loved, safe, and supported.

Instead of academic outcomes, heart-centered teachers care most about their students’ social-emotional development and well-being. 

Even though heart-centered teaching prioritizes a non-academic focus on students, it actually leads to better academic outcomes

Heart-centered teachers know that students must first want to be in school and enjoy being in their classroom if they’re ever going to learn important academic skills.

Heart-centered teaching starts with relationships

The central thesis of heart-centered teaching is that students want to be where they feel seen, supported, and included. When you treat your students as people first, and students second, you’re able to build strong emotional connections.

Heart-centered teachers are highly empathetic – working to understand where each student is coming from and what’s going on for their young students. Elementary students are actively developing their own personalities, learning how to manage their emotions, and growing their brains. They have a lot going on!

As a heart-centered teacher, you acknowledge your students' struggles, development stages, and young brains – giving them grace for their mistakes and being patient when they lash out. We understand that our students are not adults in smaller bodies, and we treat them with the respect, patience, and empathy they deserve.

When you have strong relationships with your students, everything else tends to fall into place more easily. Students who feel respected, safe, and supported are better able (and more willing) to follow directions, participate in activities, and focus on learning.

Mindfulness and movement

Kids need to move!

Young students are not meant to sit quietly in a chair or on the carpet for hours on end. And trying to keep your students still will only lead to challenges for everyone.

Movement isn’t just for gym class. The best behaved elementary classrooms are the classrooms that prioritize movement and encourage activity throughout the day.

Your students are more engaged with their learning and better able to manage their emotions when they are given plenty of opportunities to move. A heart-centered teacher understands that this is a physiological need and plans movement-based activities and learning throughout the day.

And if you really want to give your students the best experience – try pairing movement with mindfulness.

Mindfulness practices can be super simple, but wildly effective. 

Have your students try:

  • Breathing exercises – taking a big breath in, holding it for a few seconds, and letting a big breath out
  •  Yoga poses and stretches – mindful movement is the best way to activate their brains and help them self-regulate
  • Mindful walks – take your students outside for a short walk and ask them to pay attention to what they see, hear, smell, and feel 
  • Gratitude – make it a daily or weekly classroom practice to share what you are grateful for

One of our favorite ways to incorporate movement and mindfulness is with our Daily Flow slides. You can click here to see this in-action in our classroom. You can click here to shop this resource in my TPT shop!

Making movement and mindfulness regular parts of your school day will help your students feel more in control of their bodies and emotions, more focused, and excited to learn! 

Reflection and growth 

Heart-centered teachers participate in regular reflection on their own teaching practice, identifying what is working and what needs to be changed or improved as they move throughout the school year.

Teaching your students how to reflect and develop their own growth mindset is one of the most important aspects of a heart-centered classroom.

Reflection – looking objectively at past performance and experiences – helps us see our progress, appreciate our growth, and pay attention to what needs to change. As students develop this practice, they will grow their own resilience and positive mindset.

The best way to help your students learn how to reflect is to model it for them. Walk them through a self-reflection exercise and talk to them about how you feel looking back, what you look for, and how you react when you realize something hasn’t gone as well as it could have. 

The key with reflection is to teach students that they don’t fail… they only learn and grow! This makes the learning process much less intimidating and more enjoyable for young students (and adults!). 

Young students who can self-reflect and build a positive, growth mindset are poised for long-term success in the classroom and beyond. 

Why is heart-centered teaching the key to a successful classroom?

Heart-centered teaching focuses on making your classroom a welcoming, supportive, safe place for every student. That’s a classroom students want to be in. That’s a classroom you want to be in! 

When your students enjoy being at school and have a strong relationship with their teacher, they are ready to learn and grow. Academic success is much more attainable when students believe you care about them, want the best for them, and hold high expectations for them. 

Heart-centered teaching is a hands-on, connected approach that benefits your students in every way. It also helps you feel more fulfilled and able to enjoy your job. A happy teacher is a more effective teacher! 

Your students spend a significant portion of their year in your classroom, and heart-centered teaching makes sure that classroom is a place where everyone feels loved, supported, and is able to thrive. 

What’s next? Join the Heart-Centered Toolkit Waitlist now!

I created my Heart-Centered Toolkits to walk you through exactly how to have a heart-centered classroom because so many teachers (including myself at one point!) need support and direction when creating a safe and supportive heart-centered classroom. 

Click here to join the waitlist so you don’t miss out when doors open!

Lead your class with confidence and joy, showing up as the teacher you were meant to be each and every day. The Heart-Centered Method gives you all the strategies, language, tools, and support you need to create the classroom environment you’ve always dreamed of.

Adopting a heart-centered approach completely transformed my classroom behaviors, and I’m confident it will do the same for you. 

>>>Join the waitlist here!

Join the Waitlist: The Heart-Centered Classroom Instructional Toolkit Programs

Are you ready to show up as the teacher you were meant to be each and every day? The Heart-Centered Method gives you all the strategies, language, tools, and support you need to create a calm, joyful classroom environment.