The Truth about “No-Nonsense Nurturing”

My name is Kristyn Klei Borrero. I have spent more than 20 years in education, as a teacher, principal and co-founder of CT3. I spent years watching teachers struggle with “classroom management” and creating classroom cultures that are well-organized with deeply engaged learners. Surprisingly, there is not much professional development focused on creating great learning environments. That’s why I co-developed No-Nonsense Nurturer®, to help teachers maximize the learning potential of their students.

You may have heard about No-Nonsense Nurturer recently through BonBon Break, with a post titled “The Problem With Programs Like ‘No-Nonsense Nurturing’.” Unfortunately, the author has not spoken with me or anyone at CT3, nor has she observed No-Nonsense Nurturer in action. BonBon Break has graciously offered this opportunity so we can clear up a few misconceptions.

Misconception: “… maintaining order in the classroom… is only possible by ruling with an iron fist.”

Truth: Without understanding No-Nonsense Nurturer, one might focus on the “no-nonsense” part of the practice. What the author actually explains in her writings are the unproductive practices of educators we call “Negative Controllers,” or teachers who rule with an “iron fist,” often raising their voices making students feel disrespected and intimidated. No-Nonsense Nurturer is a balance of “no-nonsense” – high expectations; clear directions; no excuses for anything other than one’s best and “nurturing” – building life-altering relationships while developing high levels of respect with students and families.

Misconception: “The problem with programs like No-Nonsense Nurturing is that they perpetuate outdated beliefs about the way we should interact with children.”

Truth: I cannot speak for other programs, but No-Nonsense Nurturer was developed over several years by observing highly successful teachers in action, then creating a coaching system to support teachers as they adopt these effective strategies in their classroom. No-Nonsense Nurturers change lives because they believe all students deserve a classroom in which their voice should be heard and their intellect can be developed. No-Nonsense Nurturers believe that consistency, clear directions, positive narration, clear incentives and consequences, establish a safe classroom, inclusive for all learners.

Teachers doing this hard work to build individual relationships while involving all of their students in learning isn’t outdated in my book. No-Nonsense Nurturers do this successfully – every day – and often maintain strong connections with their students well beyond graduation.

Misconception: “What message will teachers send their students by barking orders at them in the name of No-Nonsense ‘Nurturing’ and the like?”

Truth: There appears to be an ill-founded perception of the No-Nonsense Nurturing classroom as one where children are seated at their desks, in silent fear of their teachers. No-Nonsense Nurturers calmly provide precise directions to students so they have a pathway to success in their learning. They encourage students to create and innovate. No-Nonsense Nurturing teachers are responsible for lively environments that require participation and collaboration; their classrooms are some of the most inspiring I’ve seen.

Misconception: “… courtesy is equated with leniency and ultimately leads to chaos.”

Truth: Courtesy and respect are incredibly important to No-Nonsense Nurturers; words like “please” and “thank you” have never been (and won’t ever be) banned from our work.

At CT3, we don’t believe that leniency will lead to chaos – to us, it’s inconsistency that leads to chaos. No-Nonsense Nurturers create an environment where students know what to expect and have systems set up for their success.

Misconception: Programs like No-Nonsense Nurturer, “… just make things easier for us as adults.”

Truth: As our teachers on the front lines will agree, No-Nonsense Nurturer is not an easy way out. It takes time and energy to perfect our practice as teachers. It takes focus, resilience and grit to ensure all of our students are learning. Teachers say time and time again that No-Nonsense Nurturer is the most valuable form of training they receive because it sets the foundation for respect, relationships and a rigorous learning environment.

No-Nonsense Nurturers use words like joy, transformation, purpose, improvement and progress to describe their experiences with students. You can read thoughts from these teachers directly on our company Facebook page. Until you walk a mile in these teachers’ shoes, you will never know the joy of having every student engaged, every minute of the day, knowing what’s expected and what they’re capable of achieving, and reaping the benefit of a great education.

For more information, please email

By Kristyn Klei Borrero, Ed.D.
CEO and Co-Founder of CT3

Check out CT3 Education programs such as No-Nonsense Nurturer, Real Time Teacher Coaching, and Real Time Leadership Coaching to find out more about Professional Development for Teachers and Leaders, and building relationships with students and their families.