How does empathy impact your students?

One of my first students who completed group piano is Lily. I’ll never forget the class about a year ago, Lily was practicing at her keyboard and her friend Addison started to cry. Addison is a quiet girl who often gets frustrated when she can’t get something to work on the first try.

Addison’s mom tried to help console her, but she refused to calm down. Then Lily calmly walked over and just stood in front of Addison.

“Don’t be sad Addison. It’s okay, if you mess up, you will get better.”

Addison and Lily who were both 4 at the time and just over 3 feet tall were facing each other and just starring. Addison was still sobbing and Lily puts her hand around Addison and just hugs her. I’m speechless. Both parents are speechless. Addison stops crying almost instantly.

I still can’t get over how interesting it is to watch kids interact at 4 and 5 years old. Their emotional awareness and empathy is so much better than we often give them credit for. I believe empathy is so valuable and should be something we praise and promote as teachers.

How do you encourage or promote these behaviors in your students?


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