Monday, March 6, 2017

What is Empathy?

Over the past few weeks, students in breakfast club have been viewing and discussing the new video series by Classroom Dojo that focuses on empathy. The videos take the class through a story where Mojo (the main character) has to learn how to be empathetic towards his classmates during their rehearsals and practice for the school play. At first Mojo is not empathetic, and he yells at his fellow classmates when they begin messing up during play rehearsal. He doesn’t understand why they aren’t taking the play as seriously as he is. Over time, Mojo learns about empathy and how seeing a situation through the other person’s eyes can help to clarify why things are not going well and help point to a possible solution for handling the problem or stress.

The series highlights the idea that sometimes it is hard for people to understand the feelings and thoughts of others, especially when stress and emotions are involved. It was fascinating to see how many of the students in breakfast club began to understand what empathy was and how having empathy for others, even when we are stressed or upset, can help us to solve problems and work through difficult situations.

I love that this series takes the time to explore this difficult concept and puts it into a perspective that students can relate to and understand. I think it is important for all students to understand the value of having empathy, especially in today’s world, and how to identify when it can be a helpful tool for navigating a tough situation with peers and others around us.

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