Love, Respect, Understanding, Compassion, Acceptance, Kindness,
Safety, Peaceful Conflict Resolution.
Love is the cornerstone of our school; it guides our every action.
Respect underlies our interactions with everyone.
Understanding of each child’s uniqueness makes our teaching meaningful and relevant to each student.
Compassion helps us to truly reach children where they are.
Acceptance of differences allows us to love and embrace everyone in our community as they are.
Kindness is expected and modeled in our every interaction.
Safety gives everyone the right to be who they truly are without fear of being rejected.
Peaceful Conflict Resolution turns every disagreement into opportunities to learn and grow.
The story of how and why the Natural Learning School was born started all the way back in Brazil. Since I was a child I had always wanted to teach, but the need to help my family financially took me away from my dream into a successful business career. Then life brought me to the United States; I met my husband and moved to Memphis. I had been asking God for my purpose in life for years, and slowly this purpose started to unfold. We had our first child. The day I held my son for the first time and looked at this sweet little baby, I felt the greatest love I had ever felt in my life. Do you remember that feeling? Do you remember looking at your precious child and feeling your heart swelling and aching with so much love? That love I felt for my son grew to include every baby, every mother, every father, every family, and every person in the world. With becoming a mom came a desire to be a better person, to do more for others and to give more of myself. I wanted to create a better world.
Finally my purpose in life was fully revealed to me. My dream of teaching had come back, but bigger - I wanted to start a school. What higher purpose could I find than to give children a sacred place to grow and to be the best they can be; to feel true happiness; to feel accepted, deeply understood and unconditionally loved? Out of these ideals the Natural Learning School was born. It was born of love, the purest and deepest love. Love for every child, every mother, and every family and from the desire to give children a place to grow a place where they would be loved and respected for who they are. Love is the founding principle of our school. And it is latent; you can feel it when you come through our doors. Love coupled with hard work, compassion and dedication is what makes NLS a very special place for children and families.
An educator who I respect very much said, “Children are miracles, we need to create space for miracles to happen.” That’s what we are about at the Natural Learning School. We are daily witnesses of miracles. Each one of our children is like a little seed, they have within themselves everything they will ever need to grow into a beautiful complete plant - be it a majestic oak or a little herb. Our job is to offer them a good fertile soil: light, love, and space for growth to occur. More importantly, we must not try to change our little herb into an oak tree because we think they may have more value. Our job is to respect and honor all children, just as God made them, and give them everything they need to become strong, confident, exuberant, complete, happy and full of purpose.
Because our deepest desire here at the Natural Learning School is to see each child flourishing and growing to their fullest potential, we chose Reggio Emilia as our philosophy. This approach views children as strong, interested, capable and curious rather than empty vessels that must be filled with our knowledge. To fulfill our goal we give our very best. We work hard, we look closely, we listen attentively for God’s guidance. We are very intentional about our environment and our every moment with the children.