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Increasing Empathy in the Classroom
posted by: McKenzie | March 22, 2018, 06:18 PM   

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Research shows by teaching and increasing empathy among students in your classroom, your classroom’s culture is more positive and your school community is strengthened. Students are more prepared to be leaders in their communities and grow up with the tools to lead more compassionate lives.

With the recent influx of school violence, teachers are looking for tools to use in their classroom for prevention. Improving school culture and compassion among students can lead to safer educational institutions. Students and teachers have more awareness of each other’s feeling, thoughts, and actions. The school community can work together to actively combat bullying, violence, and other forms of abuse.

Empatico was created to build empathy in classrooms for students age seven to eleven. Empatico, an initiative of The KIND Foundation, is a free tool for teachers to connect their students to classrooms around the world using seamless video conferencing technology. Activities are standards-based and designed to promote meaningful interactions and positive perceptions. As students learn together, they explore their similarities and differences with curiosity and kindness and develop practical communication and leadership skills.

Empatico and the National Network of Teachers of the Year have collaborated to create the Empatico Empathy Challenge Fellowship. Teachers can apply for the fellowship online. Accepted individuals will receive

  • an opportunity to spread kindness not only in their classroom but also across the United States
  • an amazing opportunity for their students to connect with students who are different than themselves
  • an opportunity to shine a spotlight nationally on the work of their students
  • an opportunity to bring other educators into this work
  • an opportunity to shape this platform to impact more kids, and ultimately change the world
  • $500 for their work from April-July 11th

Creating students who have a greater ability to empathize with others and successfully work across lines of difference creates a school culture of positivity. Empatico is supporting teachers around the world to help develop students who are global citizens. Follow their journey and post your own empathy work on social media with #SparkEmpathy.

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