Understanding and practising mindfulness can make us more empathetic, compassionate – and therefore effective – teachers, say Ceri Seel and David Rycroft….Ever been listening to a colleague talking about a situation with some year 9s? Moments later you disengage.
In Tolstoy's fable of The King and the Shirt, the king's physicians gather round their ailing ruler in an attempt to find a cure for his mystery illness. After much discussion, one of them suggests that they set out to find the shirt of a happy man.
Many commentators are now calling for children to be educated in empathy and compassion. Bill Drayton for example, one of the fathers of social entrepreneurship, calls on educators to ensure that every young person learns applied empathy to avoid being marginalised.
Coming to Care
At the Empathy and Compassion in Society Youth Gathering last October, I found myself standing on stage beneath the glare of several spotlights, gazing out towards a sea of dimly-lit teenagers.
This article was originally published in The Times Educational Supplement Pro on 23 November 2012.
Ian, aged 8, throws his younger brother Robin on the ground. Tears and screaming. It's the fifth or sixth time already today. «I'm strong, I'm superman!»