Importance of teaching empathy
Empathy, is one of the most important and key aspect of learning and it is also a very essential feeling that must be expressed regardless of age, gender, race or social status and technological background.
Acording to Talkingtreebooks Empathy has two parts, shared emotion and seeing other perspectives. Both parts of empathy are ways in which we make the effort to understand other people and share an emotion with them.
Teaching Empathy to students can have a positive or negative effect on their education and make a great impact on their lives. It allows them to put themselves in other people’s shoes and try to understand the feelings & emotions of others while interacting or dealing with them.
The importance of Teaching Empathy are highlighted below:
1. Empathy improves communication and facilitates meaningful conversation among students and teachers:
As a student or teacher, you learn to be compassionate and kind towards others and this allows for a very healthy atmosphere and environment for learning.
2. It positively improves mental health:
Teaching empathy encourages students to have genuine relationships and friendships which reduces cases of certain mental health issues like anxiety and depression. It also helps them to know and understand their emotions/feelings and that of others such that they are able to talk about it and seek help when necessary thereby relieving themselves of any form of mental or emotional stress.
3. It enables teachers to serve as role models to their students:
Teachers are natural role models to their students. And teaching with empathy allows for a very free and healthy learning environment where the students can reach out to their teachers at any given time. As a teacher, you must learn to have patience and cultivate the habit of paying attention to your students needs by always lending a listening ear and always being good and kind to them. You should lead by example and encourage them to relate with each other with kindness and empathy.
4. It allows you to see things from the other person’s perspective:
Empathy encourages students to relate and interact with each other in a free and healthy manner. Students tend to have conversations and discussions that enable them to understand each other’s differences and wear other people’s shoes by seeing things from their perspectives and improve the general learning environment.
5. It enhance self confidence in the students:
As a student who has empathy towards other people, you tend to care about the feelings and welfare of the people around you thereby increasing your confidence to interact and empathize with them. A student who lacks empathy will automatically lack self confidence because it takes confidence to be able to show feelings of empathy or compassion towards other people.
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Author: Semira Ayeni