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As This School Year Begins, Please Teach Your Children To Be Kind

The Huffington Post – Laura Smith

“A fresh backpack, lunchbox, shoes and school outfit are waiting tomorrow for my child’s first day of school. There is an excitement in the air as we bought school supplies and met her teacher last week. She picked out her name tag like the other kids and picked her seat. She flashed a big smile to her new teacher and chattered endlessly about school starting again and how she was excited to go back and to learn. We went and got a new haircut and she told the stylist how she was starting third grade.” (more)

Teaching your child how to be empathetic

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Children often are surrounded by people who are different from themselves, especially at school, and it is important that they treat others with respect and empathy, regardless of their differences. Although empathy can be a hard quality for parents to teach, a Baylor College of Medicine expert gives his advice on how they can do this.” (more)

5 best practices for teaching challenging subjects

E-School News – Melissa Mott

“One of the most effective ways to cultivate skills such as empathy, problem solving, and emotion management is to help students productively struggle through an examination of the real and complex subjects that have and continue to face the world. Conversations on topics like racism, genocide, school shootings, and other forms of violence are not easy; however, honest dialogue can lead to increased understanding and compassion for the human experience.” (more)

Exploring nature could make your kids more empathetic

The Toronto Star – Kitson Jazynka

“Earlier this year, I wrote about what kids should do if they found a baby bird on the ground. The idea for the story came from an experience I had with my sons last summer, when we discovered a robin’s nest in a holly bush. The fragile home, stitched together with twigs and lined with dried grass, clung to a prickly-leafed branch near the busy bus stop at the edge of our yard in Washington. We watched the parents deliver dangling worms to the babies, snapped pictures from a distance, fretted through heavy rainstorms and, when they finally grew feathers and disappeared, wondered whether the little birds would make it to adulthood.” (more)

Why design thinking isn’t just for techies

E-School News – Laura Guevara

“Schools often assume that design thinking is a “techie thing” and send their edtech coordinators and directors to design-thinking workshops. Although design thinking has been adopted widely by the tech industry, its approach can be applied by any organization that wants to adopt a way to solve problems empathetically and collaboratively. In schools, design thinking complements inquiry- and project-based approaches to teaching and learning.” (more)

A Classroom Where Everyone Feels Welcome

Edutopia – Janice Wyatt-Ross

“As the end-of-school bell rings, middle schoolers immediately reach into sweatshirt pockets and colorful backpacks to reunite with their smartphones. Suddenly, the frenzy of voices is joined by the ding of new messages. Amidst the clanging lockers, students pose for photos with friends and giggle at the latest Snapchat filters. Even goodbye waves are accompanied with reminders to send messages or add each other to the latest group chat.” (more)