Empathy: The Building Blocks of Community
As today (9th June) is Empathy Day, we are taking a look at empathy in schools, and how educators have a duty to teach children the importance of putting themselves in someone else’s shoes.
Empathy Belongs In School
Empathy is one of those things that adults assume children learn through tv shows, cartoons and movies. Therefore, it’s not worth bringing up in a real-world manner because they understand it already, right? That may be the case for some children, but it’s never that black and white. Empathy differs from person to person; we grow up around people with different worldviews and cultures. Some children may be unfortunate enough to grow up in a household that does not value empathy. This fact can become more visible when those children interact with others in a school setting.
It’s crucial to hammer home the importance of sharing the viewpoint of others. Children should understand the damage that bullying in and out of school can cause and why that kind of behaviour is not acceptable. Instilling empathy at a young age can be a great tool to defeat bullying and proactively make a difference for vulnerable children. Teaching empathy in schools does not have to be complicated; team-building exercises and encouraging children to learn about each other personally can be a great way to get kids thinking more open-mindedly. Team building exercises can be formative for children, they are also a form of active empathy and are a great way to implant empathic behaviour into children’s minds.
Empathy In The Internet Age
The internet is now so easily accessible that kids are being bombarded with more information than ever, much more than any child really should need. This overload of information can have huge implications on the mental moulding of some children, affecting their social skills, making it hard for them to socialise with kids their age, and leading to much more severe problems later in life. So monitoring children’s internet usage is essential for their mental health.
The internet can also have incredible benefits for children. With more people having access to the internet, people can share who they are in an open and frank way. Listening to people from many different backgrounds will enable children to relate to people they may have never come into contact with without the internet. Empathy can be an incredible tool in building bridges between people; understanding their struggles and relating to their own gives them a common ground to foster friendship. With the rise of Tiktok, children are learning about people from different backgrounds worldwide, which is incredibly positive.
An Improved Classroom Culture
Being able to empathise and share bonds with their classmates leads to more engaged pupils, long-lasting friendships and positive classroom culture. These benefits are significant and can only be positive for everyone. A positive classroom culture means kids will feel excited about coming to class, sitting down with their friends and spending the day at school. This infectious attitude can be had in every classroom and is something that every teacher should aspire to build within their classrooms. The benefits of this kind of learning environment can only propel kids to success.
“It (empathy) needs to be woven into the curriculum, not tacked on.” – Dr Michele Borba.
Soccialy Will Help You Find Great Educators
Finding brilliant teachers that look to foster an empathetic environment shouldn’t have to be so hard. Here at soccialy, we help you find candidates perfect for you. We do this by using our AI to find passive candidates where they spend most of their time; on social media. Great teachers are hard to find, but that’s what makes soccialy brilliant. We will find them for you. So please chat with us about how you can bring in empathetic educators that will make a difference in your school.