Whether it’s the first day of school or in the bleak winter, how do we get bright smiles and warmth from our students? With a seemingly simple formula, Washington Heights Elementary School teacher, Yenelsa Duran, brings so much love into the classroom on day one that her students are eager to share amongst each other and with the outside world.

This concept of “Revolutionary Love,” is a KIPP NYC Core Value and Yenelsa reveals how she unlocks it in her classroom. “Love will not impact our kids unless we talk about it.” By “starting small, starting in the classroom, and starting with self,” Yenelsa witnessed her classroom become a place full of warmth and support, and where the answer to the question “Why is love important?” effectively became a community norm.

In this video – part of a series of Core Values Talks – Yenelsa shared her insights with the KIPP NYC staff during a professional development day earlier this year.