Engagement and Empathy

Yesterday, KQED’s Mind/Shift published an article by the Hechinger Report’s Anya Kamenetz that asked the question, “How engaged are students and teachers in American schools?”  The article and the survey it reports on was mainly about students and teachers in grades 5-12.

Earlier today, we tweeted this article asking, “How engaged are students and teachers at Kirkwood?  Do Kirkwood faculty feel that their opinions matters?”  The second question was posed because one disappointing result from the survey as that many teachers of grades 5-12 feel that their opinions do not matter.

In the middle of the article, Kamenetz writes: “Engagement measures have a lot to do with relationships and feeling valued. So it’s not surprising that there’s an intimate connection between the schoolroom engagement of students, and the workplace engagement of teachers. As the saying goes, “Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions.

One key component to engaging anyone, a student, a teacher, or a staff member, is through empathy.  The video below helps show the difference between empathy and sympathy.

How often have you felt empathy for a student or colleague?

How often have you been on the receiving end of an empathetic colleague or supervisor?

How can we promote a healthy cycle of engagement and empathy at Kirkwood Community College?

We are interested in learning about Kirkwood faculty successes and challenges about becoming more engaging and empathic teachers.  Please contact Jeremy Slagoski at jeremy.slagoski@kirkwood.edu with your stories.  And let us know if you are interested a professional development session on issues like these.

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