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Q&A with Co-Founder Kristyn Klei Borrero – No-Nonsense Nurturer®


Co-Founder of Real Time Teacher Coaching® and No-Nonsense Nurturer®, Kristyn Klei Borrero, answers commonly asked questions about No-Nonsense Nurturer.


What is a No-Nonsense Nurturer (NNN)?

No-Nonsense Nurturer is a classroom management/culture program, which supports teachers in their practice and ability to build positive, life-altering relationships with their students. A No-Nonsense Nurturer is a teacher who builds those relationships by creating safe, collaborative learning environments, holding ALL students to high expectations, and putting in the extra effort to support all students but especially those who have fallen through the cracks of our educational system. No-Nonsense Nurturers humanize their students. They look to their students to educate them about the lives they lead and the communities they live in so they can be come more culturally competent in their practice and more culturally relevant in their delivery in their instruction.

How do you come up with the NNN approach?

The NNN came about because of a need. As a principal in Oakland, California, I was frustrated. While I could find supports for my teachers to be better instructional leaders in their classroom, many didn’t get the chance to employ their craft because they lacked the classroom management skills to keep students engaged. In a sigh of desperation, Lee Canter and I began observing high performing teachers, noted what each of them did to be successful and then triangulated what we found by interviewing those teachers, their administrators, their students and family members. We were able to break down the NNN approach into four steps that seem very simple but are extremely elegant when executed well.

The 4-step model is:

  1. Build positive, life-altering relationships with the youth in your class and the families that support them
  2. Craft and deliver precise directions
  3. Deliver positive narration
  4. Provide consistent, fair consequences and incentive systems to encourage a culture of support, care, high expectations, and academic perseverance

Is there a risk of teachers being constrained by this method?

NNN is designed to support high performing teachers with the language that they can use with their new or struggling colleagues. Often times these master teachers can tweak a strategy or two that they use in their classroom to move from high levels of engagement to 100% engagement in their classroom. For new or struggling teachers, NNN provides them with a way of thinking and strategies for success so they can begin to build trusting, success-driven classrooms and eventually build deep relationships with their students. It is essential that every teacher be authentic with their students and bring their personalities and unique gifts to their classrooms.

How do you know this works?

To start, NNN came about after observing some of the best teachers in the country and noting the practices that helped all of them to be successful. We have now trained thousands of teachers, 93% of whom found our strategies to be practical and effective. At CT3, we are also proud that our growth comes through the referrals of our current and former clients and partnerships. Essentially, folks find that NNN works to support their teachers, so they recommend the work to new districts and organizations.

Follow Dr. Borrero on Twitter: @KKB_CT3

  • jordanmca
    Posted at 20:40h, 31 July Reply

    Having worked in the admin office at a large network of high profile schools – I have to say that I was always in awe of stepping into classrooms where teachers had mastered the NNN culture. It was almost jarring to a degree, because I wasn’t used to seeing a classroom where the teacher had such precise control over the environment. After a few moments, it was always clear that the students were not only engaged – but taking great pride and joy in their work. It truly changed the way I thought about school.

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