Our sixth grade team typically meets at the end of the hallway after our second hour and after school to decompress, regroup, or just say “WTH” to each other.
Today, it was the lack of empathy. We have students who just simply don’t care. What’s worse, they lack that ability to step into another person’s shoes, feeling what they feel, experiencing what they experience. They simply don’t care, and don’t see their lack of caring has a problem. In fact, they seem to revival in it.
So, what do you do? Seriously. We are a Leader in Me school, a character education program, but I don’t see the empathy growing from our teaching. It’s angers me to see the lack of empathy on a daily basis. We continue to hammer away, asking students, “How would that feel,” but knowing, tomorrow, we have students who will say things to their classmates that are “verbal sewage” (thanks Dad!!😂).
There is hope. For professional development, my wife read the book titled, The UnSelfie – Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World, by Michele Borba. The book is divided into three sections: Developing Empathy, Practicing Empathy, and Living Empathy. Inside those sections are the “9 essential habits that provide the ‘Empathy Advantage’ “. I’m looking forward to reading this book, because it’s what we need, right now, students who have empathy, who care. Heck, we need parents who have empathy as well.
Anyway, we have a day left in the Slice of Life Challenge, so tomorrow will be a month in review. This seems like kind of a downer, but as educators, parents, members of society, it’s our duty to demonstrate that empathy for others, to be role models for those who have none. To be the upstanders in a society hell bent finding the next viral video or dance. If not for our sake, then for our children, students, and those who simply don’t see what the right thing looks like.
If not us, than who?