Vijay. B, an Engineer by knowledge, passionate Teacher by profession and a lifelong learner by mind. He works as a Math Facilitator at GT group of Institutions, imparting his knowledge and ideas for the benefit of students and crafting classroom transactions in more and more joyful ways. He believes that education and its methodologies are necessary to mould our next generation learners to excel and bring out their best potential. He is not only a teacher but is also a seasonal writer. He has also delivered many speeches to students on various career guidance topics and trained more teachers in the art of teaching. His passion is to nurture young minds and bring out good leaders which is needed for the present and for an exclamatory future.
Is it a word? Is it an emotion? Or is it a way of life?
The answer depends quite frankly on the perspective of each individual approaching this important term. Let’s all hear in detail why empathy is important and how it can be adopted and incorporated into the classrooms of 21st century learners.
Why is empathy important?
Empathy is the ability to understand feelings, emotions, and experiences. Seems normal, right? Something we experience every moment in each day of our life. Well here’s the catch. Empathy isn’t understanding your OWN emotions. It is understanding OTHERS’. It’s what makes us human. It is one important skill that can be practiced in life since it deals with the concern that others expect from you. Empathy also plays a vital role in developing the inner consciousness leading to success because it paves the way to understanding and caring for all of god’s creations.
Practicing empathy in the classroom
“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another”.
The above lines by Alfred Adler, describe his perception of empathy. He describes empathy as a sort of shape-shifting talent. Putting yourselves in others’ shoes and understanding their perspective. Now, an education system should focus not only on developing intellectual capabilities in students but also on developing the emotional quotient which is responsible for the overall attitude of the child.
In the present scenario, the role of a teacher to ensure that learning happens in his/her classroom joyfully and wishfully is high in priority than the academic performance shown in the assessment card. A Good doctor is one who not only knows how to treat the disease but one who knows how to treat the patient in a humane and considerate manner as well.
Empathy can be welcomed into the classroom in many ways. When someone is holding a conversation, take a moment in listening rather than rushing simply to reply. This might help in understanding the speaker’s emotions bringing higher motivation to both the speaker and the listener to take part actively in the conversation. Empathy can also be expressed due to mutual understanding and can be made to habitually feel as your daily energy. This makes the classroom a joyful place to learn and live.
As a facilitator and mentor, teach the students to tap into their intuitive self. Lifting people up and not pushing them down, is also termed as Empathy. After all, giving each student a conducive environment to attain their highest potential in life is the very essence of education. Intellectual knowledge alone doesn’t lead to success.
“PEARL” from a learner who is empathetic
“There is a nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy, a grace in forgiveness” – John Connolly, an Irish Writer.
As rightly mentioned, empathy (putting yourself in everyone’s place) not only brings changes in the individual, but also rings the quality of forgiving, leading to a positive and successful ambience for those who wish to achieve.
Let’s see how PEARL is made an acronym consisting of the outcomes of being an empathetic learner. ‘P’ stands for Productivity which in terms of efficiency and process output yielding improved and greater results. ‘E’ states Excellent Communication Skills of the performer. One who is empathetic always listens to the audience, present them with good self-confidence, and builds a positive rapport with their peers which strongly ensures the success is in the plate. ‘A’ is none than Acceptance of truth and this means that being okay with the current situation and involving them with the flow which gives immense learning out of the acceptance process. ‘R’ stands for the reduced act of bullying which is really needed and this can create more opportunities for networking. There will be a commitment of providing a safe and secure environment for many lives to thrive and achieve their best potential. Last but not the least, ‘L’ represents low level of aggression which can be witnessed in the students when they are empathetically mindful in performing various actions.
P – Productivity increases with improved results
E – Excellent Communication skills
A – Acceptance of Truth
R – Reduced act of Bullying
L – Low level of Aggressiveness
To conclude, opportunities are ample around us and how are we approaching it solely lies in the individual and also in their mindset of acceptance and the level of confidence. Ultimately, the final goal of every living being is to lead a happy and joyful life. To reach that state, one has to know the value of joy in mastery, key to collaborate rather to compete, the gift of giving themselves and their purpose to the world in order to lead a contented life.
Lastly, the potential to achieve what brings us the widest smiles is present in all of us but how we achieve it surely lies in each of us being empathetic to every creation of our creator.