Eanes ISD

Elementary (Grades K-5)

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Featured Tip

SEL Focus: Cultivating Empathy

Third Nine-Weeks Focus: Social-Awareness/Empathy

Empathy is a skill that can be taught, developed, and strengthened like a muscle. It is the ability to feel with and through another person creating an understanding that each person is a unique individual, and not a stereotype of race, gender, class, etc. Jamil Zaki, Stanford Professor, says “Empathy at a deep level is the understanding that someone else’s world is just as real as yours.” According to Daniel Goleman, empathy is part of our emotional intelligence and increasing children’s emotional intelligence supports behavioral and academic improvement. Our SEL focus for this nine weeks is social awareness/empathy.

The Making Caring Common project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education has the goal of teaching children to learn to care about others. They have provided “5 Tips for Cultivating Empathy” that families can use to support their children in learning to be empathetic. 

Modeling empathy through the treatment of your child and others teaches empathy. Children learn from watching the adults around them and from experiencing the empathy given to them. There are many ways we can show our children we are being empathetic. One way is to be aware of their physical and emotional needs. Other ways are respecting and accepting them for who they are, taking a genuine interest in their activities and actively listening when they are speaking. 

Our children watch how we treat the people around us. Children notice when we are engaging in a community service or contributing to the greater community. Some ways to model empathy to your children are welcoming the new family in the neighborhood or treating the people at the car wash with dignity and care. Modeling empathy with others, teaches our children to learn empathy. 

Teaching our children to be socially-aware, will not only help them learn to be empathetic but also help them learn to be happy contributing members of our community. 

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Empathy is a skill that can be taught, developed, and strengthened like a muscle. It is the ability to feel with and through another person creating an understanding that each person is a unique individual, and not a stereotype of race, gender, class, etc... 

Dr. Leonard emphasized the importance of connecting with our children and talking “about ways to handle stress and to find healthy solutions when faced with adversity.” Self-Management is the ability to adjust and manage one’s behavior. It is an underpinning for resiliency. Self-Management/Resiliency is the Eanes Independent School District focus for the second nine weeks. 

As responsible parents, educators and leaders, it is our obligation to try to model and teach healthy relationship skills. Teaching tolerance and encouraging our children to develop good relationships with others who may not share their exact values or beliefs is critical to their development and success. One way to help our children is to “seize teachable moments” when reading a book or watching TV...

Dr. Leonard has stressed the importance of creating a safe learning environment for all children - an environment that fosters respecting all, caring for each other, communicating in a civil manner, and listening well while always being kind. Cultivating kindness is part of becoming socially aware and of learning to be empathetic...

Resilience is not something kids are born with or born without. It is a skill that can be taught. Teaching kids to be reflective is also an important skill that enables children to learn from their mistakes...

As we begin the 2018-2019 school year, students are getting to know new teachers and new classmates. As parents and educators, our wish is for our children to build strong positive relationships with adults and peers. Social and emotional learning (SEL) helps students...

One way to support your child in growing into a successful adult is to teach responsible decision making.

Empathy is being able to understand and value someone else’s perspective. It’s having compassion for others even when they are different from ourselves.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) focus highlights self-awareness and self-management. “There is an emerging body of research that indicates mindfulness can help children improve their abilities to calm down when they are upset and to make better decisions,” which is being self-aware.

How to practice social skills and nurture relationship-building abilities with your child in 3rd grade.

When we “make caring for others a priority and set high ethical expectations,” we are teaching our children how to be empathetic.

Unstructured play time gives children the opportunity to learn how to work with others and how to negotiate with peers.

In order to support your child in learning skills that support self-awareness/reflection, "encourage estimation and prediction skills.

Teaching your children how to play age appropriate games and encouraging play without adult interaction supports children in learning how to self-regulate.

"The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier."

Children learn self-management skills and resiliency by having the opportunity to think for themselves.