Compassion is a theme that contains many positive values.
Schools do far more than teach,
They provide a safe place to learn how individuality and community can combine to inspire – opening young minds to ‘can do’ for future life.
We start with two schools who are early contributors to Whitby Community’s Compassion project. How they go about it will be able to be followed on this web site.
However, compassionate schools are only that way because of staff and that comes down to compassionate individuals.
Here is a book published 2019 on the very subject that is in our little reference library!
Click here to read sample pages, courtesy of Amazon.
How do teachers show compassion? Another source, Edutopia (USA), says,
Practice what you preach: Teachers should model compassion and acts of compassion on a daily basis, by complimenting students on their successes, inquiring about their day or their weekend activities, and addressing all bullying behaviors consistently. 16 Apr 2018
Does this mean being soft? Not in the least. It means Being compassionate. It is about doing the best for the child in the child’s circumstance. It must take account of other students, of course, but compassion is tailored to the individual usually. Sometimes tough love may be needed and a lot of teacher wisdom experience in applying it.
There are lessons for children, students and adults in this iceberg illusion.
This is an iceberg that recurs many times in our lives, at key change/transition points or a point of crisis. Do you recall the change in job and realising that you had to build your way into your new position? It happens to children of course as they grow up which is a journey marked in different ways, one of which is education:
- Tot into playgroup
- First days in nursery class and then reception
- Through primary key stages and some homework :-). Learning tables and spellings. Working independently and puzzling out little problems
- From primary to secondary and a Primary big fish being tipped into a Secondary sea! Not as bad as that.
- Into examinations and the rigours of “subjects” and projects and on into 6th form
Let’s stop there or we’ll reach the old age some of us reading this may be at. At EACH stage it is best if the transitions, which have concerns for the majority of youngsters to some degree, are carefully designed to be manageable by the individual child. That is compassion and it requires Head and teaching staff understanding. Certainly understanding of family circumstances and the homes children return to daily. Is it a place where older children can concentrate, for instance.
The Learning Pit illustrates where the dedication (if not compassion) of teachers and teaching assistants and Heads comes in. It would be a great feeling to take a running jump and hit the Eureka in one go! Occasionally that might be achieved but the real lesson is for children to come to understand that Learning is a job of work, a challenge, a process each time of going down and overcoming before working the way upwards to success. It is a confidence builder that equips for life.
Teachers take the journey with 30+ children in a class for as many as possible to see that “I don’t understand” usually leads to “Ah! I think I’m getting it”. Parents are the other team players in this.
Compassionate teachers (and every successful teacher is) want the best for their pupils and students. They are a community together for many hours a week. In classes, in corridors, at lunch, in problems. To see a child succeed against the odds is good for the child, the family and the teacher. Compassion is what makes a job a vocation.
The Do’s and Don’ts chart below is a good summary of some of the “way of thinking” that young people need to acquire through their school lives to prepare them for adult life with far more twists and turn and uncertainties than many of us grew up in.
Teachers are familiar with the need to reflect and project themes into the broad curriculum, not just one subject. All round education. As an engineer (retd) the inspirational theme of “SOAR” below speaks to me. Teaching is so different to 60+ years ago!.