Empathy Archives - Teaching Empathy Institute
Teaching Empathy Institute works to establish emotionally and physically safe learning communities for elementary, middle and high school students and the adults who work with them. Working in the Hudson Valley of New York, TEI creates tailor-made programs designed to foster dialogue about social culture building while strengthening the capacity for the infusion of empathy and compassion into all aspects of the learning experience.
Teaching Empathy Institute, SEL, Social and emotional learning, mindfulness, diversity, education, bullying, anti-bullying, k-12, learning, david levine, school of belonging
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Social and emotional learning is defined as the process through which children acquire and effectively apply the knowledge and skills to manage their emotions while building healthy relationships with others. In this episode of the Little Talks series, we focus upon practical approaches for infusing SEL into the classroom setting. Download the Social and Emotional Learning Reflection Guide and sign-up for our newsletter to be notified of future Little Talks releases. Teaching Empathy Institute's Little Talks that Make a Big Difference podcasts focus on meeting the social and emotional needs of  students, moving them toward healthy social decision-making and pro-social skills development. ...

I once asked a group of teachers to turn off their cel phones at the beginning of a social skills workshop.  One person, seated in the back, raised his hand and asked if he could leave his phone on since this was a social skills workshop and he was going to be using social media.   I thought he was joking but I wasn’t certain. I told him he could silence his phone if he chose.  He left it on and texted for most of the next two hours.  In today’s contemporary world of communication where facetime means looking at a...

Creating an on-going feeling word vocabulary can also be seen as improving one’s emotional literacy. Emotional literacy is reflective of someone with a high degree of emotional intelligence. A person with high EQ is able to manage his or her emotions during stressful times. #CASEL Feeling Words Vocabulary Builder Distribute a handout of “Feeling Words”, (see below). Ask students to help you define each word, and brainstorm with them on other words to add. Then ask each student to: Star six words that they use often Underline six words that they seldom use Circle any words that they do not understand Ask students...

I recently received a Fitbit as a gift from my wife, Jodi. The Fitbit is a watch which, amongst other things, monitors how many steps one walks during the day. The most exciting time of my day now happens at night, when my Fitbit vibrates with its lights flickering, celebrating that I have walked 10,000 steps for that day. 10,000 steps seems like a lot but when it’s done with  purpose and support, when it becomes a way of being, it’s like breathing, it’s natural. What if empathy was practiced so frequently that it became as natural as breathing or walking...

Often the idea of safety within a school conjures up images of single points of entry, nametags, sign-in desks and zero tolerance for fighting or other aggressive acts. These images focus solely upon physical safety. In this episode of the Little Talks series, we examine how by meeting the emotional needs of our students, we are creating the blueprint for emotional safety.  Download the Emotional Safety Reflection Guide and sign-up for our newsletter to be notified of future releases. Teaching Empathy Institute's Little Talks that Make a Big Difference podcasts focus on meeting the social and emotional needs of  students, moving them toward healthy social decision-making and...

The idea of school safety conjures up images of single points of entry, signing in at the front of the school, showing identification to security personnel, and wearing a name badge.  These are all relatively new physical safety practices for schools and yet are necessary when it comes to protecting the children (and staff) in our schools. The companion to physical safety practices is another form of safety known as emotional safety which is just as critical only more elusive.  Both forms of safety stem from by getting one’s physical and emotional needs met. Whether one references Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of...

When a person has success while working with another, that experience takes on an aura of meaning and purpose. When a teacher intentionally provides opportunities for students to take part I meaningful collaborative activities, such as creating a welcoming celebration for a new student or co-teaching a lesson, trust-building is a natural part of the process. The students also are practicing the crucial life skills of planning, negotiation, compromise, listening, and responsibility. Identify for yourself two-person jobs within the classroom. Whenever there is a task to be carried out, make it a two-person job and find two students to work...

Those of us who work with children too often see the emotional impact current life circumstances have on our students. The typical “helping response” is to label, test, or separate in order to manage the unhealthy behaviors which we encounter. A young person’s painful experiences need not be a way of life, but rather, potentially an opening to another way of being, with new power amidst life’s possibilities. Within the context of the big curriculum author Gary Zukav refers to as Earth School, each individual comes into the human experience with a life IEP (Individual Educational Plan), and it is our...

A caring culture frees students to attain the highest possible levels of social and academic achievement. The journey is not always easy; often, both teachers and students must develop new habits of thought and action. But the rewards are immeasurable. The first step is to paint a picture of the classroom culture you want to create. You can do this by answering the following four questions: What do my students need to succeed? All students have emotional needs: the need for belonging and acceptance, the need for personal power and self-competence, the need for independence and self-responsibility, and the need for meaningful...

Salons are the scaffolding for conversation.  They are a “third place,” an alternative to work and home.  The third place is less defined in structure and specific functions than work and home, but no less deliberate in its value to a community.  In Ireland they are the pubs, in Seattle, the coffee houses.    Within the salon experience, conversation is key; partly because it creates contact with another mind, imparts a value to communication, and creates connected, ever enlarging experiments with influencing others.  It allows us to experience how others represent reality and how they process information.  It allows us to experiment and...