Compassion means a lot more than just the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to act on it. Compassion entails showing empathy towards people, to have the courage to stand up and take actions to change the situation for better. In today’s rapidly changing world, Compassion is critical to our success.
Children learn from their elders and parents and majority of their time is also spent at school. It then becomes our responsibility to encourage compassion, empathy, gratitude and other values among children. Inculcating values and encouraging them to have an opinion on happenings of the world plays a big role in creating compassionate leaders.
That’s why, Children should be exposed to situations with examples like:
Are our leaders compassionate? Would people like Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, who practiced compassion have made it to chapters in History books if they weren’t compassionate? Are we more self-centered and arrogant than ever before? These are the kinds of questions that students need to explore and we need to give them a chance to debate and reflect to realize importance of compassion. Every situation in today’s world can be solved better, with a compassionate approach.
Educators have the responsibility of encouraging students to analyze the solutions through the lens of compassion. We can start with small steps like:
1. Importance of Compassion in life – Creating a positive environment where students are told compassion is needed in every decision we take.
2. Leading by Example – Compassion cannot be learned in isolation. It has to be modelled by the adults around the children be it the teachers, parents and seniors.
3. Developing Emotional Competencies – If teachers are emotionally competent, they are able to model and build emotional competency in students. This approach, helps students put more thought on the feeling of others and handling it well.
4. Practices for Classroom Culture – Teachers and students can suggest ideas to build their classroom culture like Mood Meter, Morning Interactions or Emotional Intelligence Chart are some ways to express their feelings and understand them better.
5. Celebrate actions taken by students and their success stories – Create ways to highlight and acknowledge every action taken by students in academic or personal lives.
As a school, Oakridge has built plans to include compassion in our curriculum thus ensuring a better learning environment. We believe in laying the foundation so that every student of our school enriches the society with their compassionate ideas and actions in the coming years. After all, we are building the future leaders in classrooms today.