As teachers, it is our foremost duty to enhance and encourage students higher order feelings such as – honesty, empathy, kindness, assertiveness, self-control, positivity and skills along with their academic abilities. Empathy is one such human ability through which we recognize, feel and respond to the needs of the suffering of others, and come up with ways to help them mitigate the crisis. Caring about others reaps personal rewards such as a sense of fulfillment and achievement.
Although the digital age has given children ways to associate with peers and fellows, the question here is whether they really are connected and is social networking can compensate for inter-personal relationships? Young children thrive when they develop empathy that impacts their lives and the lives of their peers equally, in a positive and extraordinary ways. As an educator, we have a moral imperative to reorganize how we teach kids and educate them to care and connect in an increasingly hurried, impersonal and data-driven world. Good teachers always make it their aim to leverage learning as an agent of social change. Let us find out few habits that make you a great teacher and make your students better citizens:
- Make them feel ‘seen’ and ‘felt’ and ‘understood’ to develop the same skills – Your students keenly follow your behavior towards them; to develop their capacity you have to foster empathy towards them. Teachers who appreciate, encourage and respect students beyond academics enhance their ability to increase their capacity to care for others.
- Mentor students and make them believe in themselves by transforming empathy into community action – Students believe that when they are encouraged by their teachers who transform their empathy into some kind of community action attribute, by mentoring them, actually show long-term and life-changing feeling of self-efficacy.
- Combine and show them good citizenship values with empathy – These empathy values are perceived as good citizenship attributes as well, such as cooperation, caring, teamwork, kindness and so forth. As they develop through life stages, they should be groomed to being better citizens. Civic roles are often knotted with developing empathy.
- Inspiration is the key, motivate them to become their best selves to develop naturally their empathy skills – Best teachers are the ones who motivate, inspire and empower with meaningful gestures beside academic knowledge.
- Expand their intellectuals and emotional boundaries by exposing them to various worldviews -Being a teacher, it is your responsibility to make them see others perspective and see the world differently and make them global citizens. We are here to make them understand different perspectives that challenge their mindsets. Make them learn how it feels to walk in other’s shoes and build greater capacity for empathy.
As educators, we have the higher responsibility towards our students. The main accountability is to make them better individuals and empower them with values and instill abilities to make them healthy human beings.