Building Empathy

Week 4.5

Building Empathy

This week we focused hard on learning about the reconciling practice of empathy. Through hero talks, videos, discussion, and skits, we learned what empathy means and looks like. One discussion in particular led to these ideas and conclusions:

How do we practice empathy?

  • show support for others when something good or bad happens
  • listen very carefully to each other
  • try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes
  • pay attention to others

Why do we practice empathy?

  • It can be really helpful in friendships
  • It helps us understand how others are feeling

As we have learned what empathy means, I’ve noticed a HUGE culture shift in our studio as heroes learn how to take good care of each other. Here are a few of my favorite observations this week:

Jaina was eating lunch inside and noticed a hero sitting on the tire swing alone. She ran outside and sat in the tire swing with that hero and asked how the hero was feeling. After a few minute conversation, there was a noticeable positive change in both heroes and they went on with their activities.

Elias witnessed a football collision of two heroes and ran inside to grab the hurt hero’s water bottle and an ice pack.

Lola heard another hero use unkind words and became an advocate for only using kind words toward others.

These are just a few of the many ways their eyes are shifting to understanding each other’s feelings.

We’ve been studying heroes from the Civil Rights Movement this week and as we have been studying, the heroes have been taking notice of how these heroes have played integral roles in racial reconciliation. Here are a few excerpts from two hero notebooks.

Rosa Parks – “She sat in the middle of the bus, then the police told her to ‘get up’ and when she was older she moved to Michigan” An excerpt from Jack’s journal.

Charlie’s notes on Martin Luther King Jr. “He wanted everyone to be friends so he gave big speeches and walked with lots of people to make sure they were being nice to each other.”

Have a great weekend!

2 replies
  1. Jamie
    Jamie says:

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve had some really meaningful conversations with Charlie sparked from these discussions. Great, and really important work.


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