In this unit, students learn about having empathy and showing compassion. They learn that having empathy means thinking about how someone else is feeling. Students learn to ask themselves, “How would I feel if that happened to me?” Compassion means saying kind words or doing something helpful to show you care about how another person feels. Feeling empathy and expressing care and concern are different from each other, and each requires practice.
Empathy can motivate students to respond to others in a caring way. Young students often try to comfort others through physical affection, by offering a toy, or by saying something comforting. One of the ways empathy makes a difference in the lives of students is by motivating them to use caring words and actions toward others. Students can channel their empathy into compassion and help peers feel less isolated, provide emotional support to peers in difficult circumstances, and strengthen friendships. Students who were bullied can experience fewer difficulties if other students are compassionate and show them support. Increasing students’ ability to show compassion helps create a caring and positive school climate.
Below are optional resources called Home Links from Second Step you can use to reinforce concepts with your student(s) at home. These Home Links will help you understand what your child is learning about empathy at school. They also give your child another chance to practice skills for having empathy and showing compassion.
If you have any questions about the Empathy Unit or the Second Step program, please contact Ms. Proietti and Ms. Hawthorne. Thank you for helping us make our school a safe, respectful place where everyone can learn.