EMPATHY AND THE BASICS IN EDUCATION

Just been reading and reflecting on Daniel Goleman’s book: SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE.
Surely EMPATHY must be one of the most important qualities we develop as teachers. It is the ability to look deeply into a child’s eyes, notice their body language and listen attentively to the tone as well as the words they say-this ability defines great teachers. We need to look at HOW we can develop this within teachers and I am going to emphasise this in our EQ4SCHOOLS training. Everyone can learn teaching strategies and consider the good/bad points about available programs-but not everyone can really “see” the children they teach. I have noticed lately that the teachers I employ have this quality and yet I didn’t even know that was the quality I was looking for!
When a child is truly recognised -when their ESSENCE is honoured, something magical happens. Last night a child handed me something beautiful and passionate she had written about honouring Aboriginals and I SAW her properly-not just her educational needs but the beautiful ESSENCE-her ability to really care and empathise with marginalised people. This glimpse deep into a child’s ESSENCE or FLAVOUR can lead to a subtle difference in communication and to more tuned-in, and finer choices of reading materials, educational programs etc.
Of course all this takes TIME and I am so convinced that SLOW-TEACHING is really important. Children cannot learn at speed and we need to slow down the process and make sure each piece happens deeply and thoroughly.

We are running our own SPELLING RULES program this term and have been revising alphabetical order, capitalising Proper Nouns etc and our teachers have been amazed at children 7-11 who simply do not know these things. Schools have more and more pressures to fit in more and more-and yet the basics are being missed. This is what we MUST provide at ICE-in the most interesting, creative and explicit and effective manner as possible! This deep understanding of basic literacy and numeracy, plus improved levels of EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE through our EQ4KIDZ course-these are the gifts from ICE to our children.

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