Teaching students EMPATHY, has always been crucial in my teaching!
Empathy isn’t always automatic. It is a practice, and one that we need to develop and strengthen throughout our lives. It is also much more than perspective-taking or “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.
True empathy is not just about understanding another’s beliefs or experiences, but about valuing other people.Children learn empathy in a variety of ways, but one key way is by watching what we as their parents and teachers choose to pay attention to and care about.
We need to actively express caring toward others—especially those whose experiences are very different from our own—and take actions that express our care. Children will notice if we “walk the talk,” and they will be far more likely to respect us and to want to emulate our values.
Since 2011, Syria has been a country in crisis. Civil war, unrest, and violence have displaced nearly 11 million people. For students and families living in refugee camps or temporary housing outside of Syria, trauma and toxic stress are ever present. The Students Rebuild Healing Classrooms Challenge, a partnership between Students Rebuild, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Global Nomads Group, will support Syrian children by funding the IRC’s Healing Classrooms program.
Children affected by crisis—whether war or natural disaster—need help restoring a sense of normalcy and safety in their lives. One of the best ways to do this is to reintroduce the familiar routine of school, where teachers can provide structure and stability, and can work with children to heal. The International Rescue Committee partners with schools in crisis zones to create Healing Classrooms—paired with support from parents and the community—so children can recover, grow, develop and learn.
Healing Classrooms trains teachers in special techniques to engage conflict-affected children with social-emotional learning opportunities and to create secure, nurturing learning environments. Funds generated by the Challenge will support Syrians in the IRC’s Healing Classrooms programs in Lebanon and Iraq. The program will:
- Equip teachers with skills to create safe, nurturing spaces where children can recover, grow, develop and learn.
- Create learning environments that provide children with a sense of normalcy, structure and stability to promote their well-being.
- Provide opportunities for children to build self-esteem and strengthen their interpersonal skills.
- Lay the groundwork for refugees to eventually return, reintegrate and become peacebuilders in their communities.
Healing classrooms , is part of the Students Rebuild program….
Students Rebuild is a collaborative program of the Bezos Family Foundation. Created in January 2010 in response to the devastating Haiti earthquake, Students Rebuild has mobilized thousands of young people in nearly 80 countries and all 50 United States and raised more than $2.5 million in matching funds for rebuilding schools in Haiti, aiding disaster recovery efforts in Asia and supporting livelihoods in Africa.
Through the Challenges, they tackle some of the world’s most difficult problems, issues that one cannot affect alone. They believe in coming together in order to make a collective impact. And they believe every young person should have an opportunity to help others—but not everyone has the ability to fundraise.
Their Challenges require young people to create a simple, symbolic object which the foundation matches with funding. This approach allows students of all ages, backgrounds and in countries around the world to take action and see change on international concerns.
The pinwheel. A simply universal toy, that for almost all of us brings back memories of a carefree innocent childhood, of fun and laughter as we either blew to our hearts content, or ran breathlessly against the wind as we watched brilliantly coloured pinwheels spin!
A time in our lives that should be innocent, carefree, simple, joyful and most of all peaceful!
In my school, we have decided to make pinwheels today and help young Syrians from conflict areas recover from crisis and grow into happy, healthy adults. We have put your thoughts, designs, creativity and energy into creating pinwheels from the heart!
Even though the Syrian struggle seems overwhelming, we can make a difference. Young people around the world can assist their Syrian peers right now by making pinwheels for the Students Rebuild Healing Classrooms Challenge.
IMPORTANT INFO, FOR THOSE OF YOU INTERESTED IN TAKING PART:
How does it work? For every pinwheel Students Rebuild receives, the Bezos Family Foundation will donate $2—up to $400,000—to the International Rescue Committee’s Healing Classrooms program. Additionally, the IRC will distribute a selection of your pinwheels to Healing Classrooms students! The first step is a quick registration and then you can get started with making and mailing in pinwheels.
With every pinwheel you make for the Students Rebuild Healing Classrooms Challenge, you’ll take a stand for children living in conflict, improve their well-being and learning—and help them gain the peace and security all children deserve.
You can also, visit the Healing Classrooms Challenge photo gallery to see photos related to the International Rescue Committee’s Healing Classrooms program.
The steps you have to take, in brief:
1. Register your team @
2. Make your pinwheels…
& don’t forget to take photographs.
3. Send an email to Students Rebuild @
& don’t forget to include
– the name of your team, (as registered)
– photos of your pinwheel activity &
– totall of how many pinwheels your team has made!
4. Optional – Share your photos on your own social media sites
you can add tags to @Students Rebuild #SRSyria
@Heal Spin Fly like the wind. #HealSpinFlyliketheWind
5. Students Rebuild will write back to confirm how much funding will be donated to Healing Classroom based on how many pinwheels you have made.
Funds generated by the Challenge will support the IRC’s Healing Classrooms programs which:
Equip teachers with skills to create safe, nurturing spaces where children can recover, grow, develop and learn.
Create learning environments that provide children with a sense of normalcy, structure and stability to promote their well-being.
Provide opportunities for children to build self-esteem and strengthen their interpersonal skills.
Lay the groundwork for refugees to eventually return, reintegrate and become peacebuilders in their communities.
With thousands of refugees pouring into Europe every day, it is clear that this crisis will not end soon. Engaging our kids in meaningful actions will help increase their understanding and their ability to empathize with those affected. And in the end, it will make them—and us—better people and citizens in our interconnected world.
Hope, you will enjoy this project as much as we have!!