Home EDUCATION The importance of showing empathy to students in the classrooms

The importance of showing empathy to students in the classrooms

by Paresh Bramhane

As a teacher, you encounter different students within your career. Your students come from different backgrounds and deal with different issues. Sometimes, you might find yourself losing patience with some of the students. This shouldn’t be the case. Some students are rude and uncooperative from the beginning but others suffer in silence.

They seem alright on the outside but are struggling on the inside. It is important to show empathy to students and let them know that someone cares. Ask your students to write an essay about themselves. They should include the 5 parts of an essay for you to understand them better.

What is empathy

Empathy is the ability to be aware of a person’s emotional turmoil and to comprehend their feelings. By imagining yourself in their state of distress, you sympathize with them and lend a helping hand. 

Types of empathy

  • Compassionate empathy

Compassionate empathy is the capability to understand other people’s emotions and react properly. This kind of emotional comprehension leads to having a sense of welfare towards other people.

  • Somatic empathy

This is where a physical reaction is involved towards what another person is going through. Like feeling embarrassed or developing a stomachache.

  • Cognitive empathy

Also referred to as perspective-taking. It is when you put yourself in another person’s position. In doing so, you grasp what they are going through and feel it from their point of view.

  • Emotional empathy

Also known as personal distress, this kind of empathy involves literally feeling what another person is feeling. It is as if what hurt them hurt you too on the same level.

  • Spiritual empathy

This is where you have a direct connection with a supernatural being. It is made possible through meditation. It is common in the eastern philosophical tradition.

Signs that you are empathetic

  • You are attentive to what other people are saying
  • Others tend to trust you with their problems
  • You are good at understanding others feelings
  • You have high regard for other people’s feelings
  • People tend to come to you for advice
  • Catastrophic events overwhelm you 
  • You are always trying to lend a helping hand to those who suffering
  • You can easily pick on dishonesty 
  • You care about others at a deeper level

Importance of showing empathy in the classroom

  • Empathy helps in building a positive classroom culture

When a classroom has a variety of students, you should create a positive classroom culture. This helps students understand each other and also gives way to creating trust which helps to build friendships. Demonstration of empathy in a classroom assists in creating a student-teacher relationship. 

Essay writing based on people the students care about can build empathy. Ask each student to read their essay to the class to create a connection among the students. This makes things easier by improving the understanding between the student and teacher, which births good results in the end.

  • Empathy helps strengthen the community 

By understanding and deepening relationships within the classroom, students can also practice the same with people they know outside classroom. Students from diversified cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds come with different empathy skills. These strong empathy skills are interchanged. It creates more profound relationships and trust which strengthens a community.

  • Empathy paves the way for students to be leaders in the community

Students who have been taught empathy in classroom have a better chance of leading a community in the future. Because they understand and care about people’s welfare, they are in a position to create a good relationship with the community. This aspect strengthens trust between leader and followers because you can emphasize with those you lead. Your followers will feel valued.  

  • Empathy helps improve students’ performance

Because a classroom comprises of different students, emphasizing with them lets them know that their difference is not bad. It’s best to put more focus on students who underperform in their studies. By not comparing them to the better-performing students, you create an excellent space to improve their performances.

  • Empathy assists in dialogue creation 

When you show empathy to students, you create a healthy learning environment for them. This makes them feel free to engage you and other students in a dialogue. Questions are asked, and thoughts are shared on topics that weren’t fully understood. This is especially helpful with students who are shy and would rather keep quiet than ask for assistance.

  • Empathy helps to reduce anxiety and stress

Students who have stern teachers tend to go into their cocoons because of high stress and anxiety levels. This is made possible by the strictness of their teachers since they don’t want to make mistakes. But when they are shown empathy, they can make mistakes and learn from them. Their stress and anxiety levels reduce when they better understand what they are taught.

In Conclusion

Understanding your students makes it easier to assess how to handle them because of the diversity in a classroom. It will make them have fun while learning, knowing that their learning environment is a friendly one. This helps improve the student’s way of dealing with other students and the society. It also improves their performances, and they can help other students who are struggling.

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