“What would it be like to be a student in your classroom? Walking in the learner’s shoes.
A Captivating article written by Kath Murdoch. that took me to different places while reading it.
The article is asking whether are your relating to your students or not? Are you showing empathy and understanding towards them? How you expect them to feel safe in the classroom without being understood?
As Kath Murdoch said and I quote “Empathy builds relationships and relationships are the key to quality teaching.”
First, what is empathy? It is simply imagining oneself in another’s situation in order to understand another person’s emotions. And if you showed empathy that means that you felt their emotions and then you tend to understand, when you understand you relate, when you relate you reflect and then you take an action. I used to have a student in my class that is always bullying his classmates even his friends he was disturbing everyone including me at first I didn’t understand him as he refuses to talk one at time he begins to respond to me I started by asking how u feel today ? if he hit someone I decided not to blame him but to say I know that probably that someone did something in order that you would hit him , he talked and explains and then at the end he was convinced that that someone didn’t mean to bother him at the beginning and he shouldn’t have hit him in the first place and he went and apologized. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t always the same good result but, it is always worth it.
Second , In a supported learning environment. Children and teachers share control, I believe that their emotions mostly guides the teacher to how it could relate to them and it’s both the teacher’s and the student’s job to help each other reflect ,That is why I believe that empathy roots is innate but maybe they won’t show it unless they see it around them .I believe that students are mostly the mirror of their teacher if they noticed that she is tensed and nervous and always shouting they probably will be the same , so it’s the same how we respond, how we feel , how we act is simply the key to them, you want to make them show empathy , you should show it first .After the session was over sometimes i get angry at them and I always regret it and I feel really guilty about it and put myself in their place maybe they were tired or bored or don’t understand that is why they acted that way . so,I go back and admit that i was mistaken and that i shouldn’t have been mad at them and I apologize to them and they always listen to me with an open heart and even sometimes they say that i didn’t do anything to apologize for !
Third , İn one of the PYP attitudes (that means what do we want students to feel , value and demonstrate) is Empathy ,also one of the Learner’s profile is caring that is focusing on Empathy . that means it should be focused on . students were learning about expressing themselves through stories and caring as a learner profile so they were taking “Pandarella” they saw in the story how could you be uncaring like the step mom and example of being caring like the god mother, and putting themselves in Pandarella’s shoe what would they like ? so, as an activity they were asked to draw and write how will they care for Pandarella if they took her home? And their answers were we will eat with her , play with her , share with her , go to the garden with her.
Empathy should be in our daily interaction with students , we will understand them more and they would feel safe. Showing empathy to your students is like paying it forward. So, if it keeps on going it will affects the future of education that by it’s turn will affect everything else.