Teaching Empathy Blog - Page 2 of 3 - 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.
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The collection of social skills acquired throughout a person’s life can be referred to as the “survival file” The survival file consists of practical life skills that a person will need throughout life, such as how to work with and get along with others, how to express feelings in a healthy way, how to respond to rejection, and how to choose and make friends. Any cooperative activity, group dialogue or lesson in the vocabulary of feeling will help to fill the survival file. Create survival files with your students: Have students write survival file instructions on a colored index card and laminate the...

A resilient child has hope and optimism for the future with the skills and perspective to manage difficult life situations.  In this episode of the Little Talks series, we focus upon the significance relationships have, as we lay the groundwork for each child to have a resilient mindset. Download the Resilience 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. ...

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...