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Show your child empathy. While you can put empathy into action by donating your time or money, in the midst of a global pandemic, one of the most valuable ways to help others is by staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In his article "Developing Empathy in the Classroom," Bob Sornson asserts: "Empathy is the heart of a great classroom culture." Whether they are or have experienced trauma, are battling a mental or physical illness, or are living in poverty and/or food insecurity, our students’ experiences out of school may be very challenging. As educators, incorporating empathy into instruction can have positive results for your immediate classroom, as well as for the community outside of the school building. So often, it can be easy to fall into a mindset of expecting students to be obedient robots who must not thwart our agenda for the day. This validation will strengthen trust between the leader and followers. Given that I taught history, empathy naturally lent itself to discussions of varying perspectives about and intentions of history’s key players. These videos about empathy show people expressing empathy in real life situations. A study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership (PDF) found that "empathy is positively related to job performance" (Gentry, Weber, & Sadri, p.3). Just like us adults, they have feelings, they have good days and bad days, and they have life experiences that affect them. I paused. However, empathy doesn’t just end with teaching it to our students. Acknowledge and understand students’ feelings: A big part of empathy is being able to consider how the other person is feeling. Some students need consistent positive reinforcement, and some can work fine without it. With metacognitive awareness, we can all become more effective at taking another’s perspective throughout our lives.When we encourage students to become more empathic, we help them create more opportunities for success in school and other aspects of their lives. In our fast-paced, digital world, it can often feel like our students are more disconnected from one another than ever before. They may be coming from difficult situations: Unfortunately, many of the students we work with enter the school day with so much baggage. They need . However, sometimes making exceptions to rules or expectations can be just what a student needs. Help the student manage their emotions: Many students are dealing with things at home that we can’t even begin to imagine. One way to do this is by simply stating, “It seems like you are sad. However, this isn’t realistic and is likely to leave everyone frustrated. Keep reading about relationship building: Click here to learn about forming connections with parents. By helping the student manage their strong emotions first, the students will see that you care about what they are experiencing and are willing to work with them on what they need most. Responding with empathy means letting students’ reactions come first. This valuable skill deserves more of our attention. Leadership articles emphasize human development as an essential leadership quality. You don’t have to bury your own feelings or agree with or accept their behavior. We were strategizing my vision for the classroom and for my students. Dr. Karyn Gordon provides some practical tips in, Teaching Tolerance describes a variety of strategies for helping to build a positive. Ask how you can help: After you have acknowledged how the student is feeling, a great follow up question is, “What can I do to help you?” Sometimes, students may feel like teachers and other educators are out to get them. Over the past year, the school where I worked had grown increasingly obsessed with test scores, but the more I considered my students and their needs, the less test scores motivated me. Four TED-Ed Innovative Educators share tips for how we can combat that by cultivating empathy in the classroom and building perspective-taking skills among students. ©2019 Counselor Chelsey | All Rights Reserved | Designed by A Hughes Design, Easy to use social emotional resources you can trust, Small Group Counseling, Growth Mindset Resources, Social Emotional Learning, Feelings And Emotions, Self Regulation, Social Emotional Learning, show more pro-social behavior, have stronger relationships. By modeling empathy, we can contribute to a positive school culture, which then encourages students to practice empathy themselves. Here are a few: Do you teach empathy in your classroom? Taking the time to demonstrate empathy can also develop student-teacher relationships, as described by Ernest Mendes in " What Empathy Can Do ." If you want to understand empathy and build your ability to understand others, here are some great tools to start. Meet the student where they are: “Everyone in our room gets what he/she needs.” This was a great quote from a teacher I once worked with when she was asked about giving special accommodations to certain students. Be aware of your feelings and thoughts about your ability to understand and share in the feelings of others. Empathy is such an important skill. One of the best ways to create a culture of empathy in our schools is to practice it ourselves. Instead, use the 3 R’s developed by Dr. Bruce Perry - Regulate, Relate, then Reason. Fortunately, other educators have wondered the same thing, and many already provide lesson plans and ideas for how to incorporate and increase empathy in the classroom. The deeper relationships that result from strong empathy skills have the potential to strengthen a community and build trust. empathy, I thought before saying it out loud. Listen carefully as he talks, acknowledge what he says, and ask him questions about his feelings and thoughts. This means that once they get to school, they are already overwhelmed, frustrated, or fearful before instruction and classwork even starts. Acknowledging how your students feel will help them to understand their emotions and show them that you care enough to notice how they are feeling. By showing empathy to the students we work with, they get to see what it practically looks like and how it makes others feel. But try to keep your focus on hearing students out and seeing the situation through their eyes. The effects of community extend far beyond the four walls of your classroom. Research shows that students who have a strong sense of empathy show more pro-social behavior, have stronger relationships, and even experience more academic success.Thankfully, it seems that schools are increasingly focusing on social emotional learning and training in social skills such as empathy. Empathyed.org quotes Tyler Colasante by defining empathy "as 'the intrapersonal realization of another's plight that illuminates the potential consequences of one's own actions on the lives of others' (as cited in Hollingsworth, 2003, p.146)." Leaders must understand the people that they lead and be able to show that they care. That year, empathy became a central component of my classroom instruction. Giving a little grace is sometimes just what the students need, and can really show that you care about them as a person. as described by John Converse Townsend in, A study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership, Lost for words? Research shows that students who have a strong sense of empathy show more pro-social behavior, have stronger relationships, and even experience more academic success. In this situation, her teachers decided that she would be exempt from summer homework - which was a great move. AND, it helps the other students to see what it looks like to practice empathy in a practical way. When we notice that they have a need and we willingly step in to support them, it speaks volumes about how much they are valued and cared for. Give the person your undivided attention so they feel important. This creates a safe, supportive space for the person to share what they have to say because it shows that you respect and care about their thoughts and feelings. How do you build your ability to feel empathy? Empathy is such an important skill. Michaela W. Colombo writes in her article "Reflections From Teachers of Culturally Diverse Children" (PDF) that "approximately 40 percent of children in the U.S. public schools are from culturally diverse backgrounds (NCES 2003).". Keep reading to learn why this is an important strategy, and how you can practice it at your school! Taking the time to demonstrate empathy can also develop student-teacher relationships, as described by Ernest Mendes in "What Empathy Can Do." Edutopia® and Lucas Education Research™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of the George Lucas Educational Foundation in the U.S. and other countries. As teachers, we must equip our students to be the future leaders of our communities and beyond. . Here’s why: With the diversity of students entering classrooms each day, paralleled by an increase in globalization, it's more necessary than ever for teachers to actively construct a positive classroom culture. Instead, it is important to view our students as they are - people! Given that the definition of empathy involves understanding another's feelings without having experience, empathy sets students up to deepen relationships with their current classmates and people that they know outside of school. Shortly after, I had constructed my entire classroom around the concept. Through empathy, he explains, students learn to understand each other, which helps them to build friendships based on positive relationships of trust. Empathy is an important skill, and thankfully is something that schools are taking seriously. As children learn empathy skills by communicating cross-culturally with their classmates, those skills will transfer to their lives in their community. Unfortunately, her last days of summer were spent in hospital rooms. You're convinced that empathy is important to integrate in your curriculum, but where do you start? Do you want to talk about it?”. In our increasingly globalized world, these people may be coming from different cultures and different socioeconomic backgrounds than before, thereby necessitating better developed empathy skills. Some students work better in small groups, some work better individually. Students learn by watching us: One of the most effective strategies for teaching empathy to students is to model it. The benefits of empathy in education include building positive classroom culture, strengthening community, and preparing students to be leaders in their own communities. When they come to school, they are already carrying so much baggage. I vividly remember sitting in my classroom with my teaching coach, ready to begin my second year of teaching. Instead of getting frustrated when they are misbehaving or being difficult, it is important to understand that these are little people overwhelmed by big emotions. my coach asked me. Our students must be able to empathize with those whom they lead in order to make them feel valued. You can build empathy by engaging meaningfully with others, being aware of other people's needs, and being kind to others and yourself. "Lauren, what do your students need?" Empathyed.org offers lesson plans centered around empathy. (Try this free printable Empathy Lesson Plan.) By recognizing this, and responding with empathy instead of frustration, we are able to meet them where they are and set them up for real success. Please tell us about your experiences in the comments section below. Through empathy, he explains, students learn to understand each other, which helps them to build friendships based on positive relationships of trust. Thankfully, it seems that schools are increasingly focusing on social emotional learning and training in social skills such as empathy. For example, a jr. high student I know lost her mom this past summer. Knowing how important empathy is, I have read a lot of research about how to encourage empathy in the school community, and I have found that one of the key ways to encourage empathy in your students is for the educators in the school to treat each student with empathy. So now what? Understand the concept of empathy. Knowing how to show empathy will help you build rapport with people around you. On a more academic note, school programs that intentionally incorporate empathy into curriculum have also seen better test results, as described by John Converse Townsend in Forbes Magazine. Whom they lead in order to make them feel valued given that I taught history, empathy ’. So you can practice it ourselves the U.S. and other countries reinforcement, and can really show that care. 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