Thinking about Empathy…and everything!

I took some time this week to examine my blog and the blogs of my classmates. It was lovely to look back on some of the thoughts I have had over time, and I enjoyed watching my inquiry questions evolve through thought exercises, discussions, and research hunting. Besides my own progress, the progress of my classmates’ thinking is evident in their blogs, and I felt grateful to be part of this class and to work with such rockstar educators.  The small moves were evident throughout our blogs, and I could clearly see how my own small moves are really coming together to grow a connected learning classroom for my students.

One move was my own examination of my own learning and teaching.  I think drawing out my map of learning a few weeks back made me realize how I was supported and supported others throughout my learning journey.  It was clear that those moments of connected support and shared purpose were times when I learned the most. My own examination of my learning was something that made me reflect on the opportunities present for my own students.  I know that a teacher inspect the environment of her students, prospect the resources available, and plant the seeds of collaboration within her classroom. This is something that has helped me recently in my field.

Another small move I have made with my students is building social-emotional learning into my social studies classroom.  At my school, we have a restorative period at the end of the day where students are to work on math and reading strategies. I recently was approved to provide some of the eighth grade students with some social-emotional learning. We worked on getting to know ourselves as individuals and how having confidence in one’s self will help us to connect and work with others.  We reflected on the ways we react to emotion and we shared out and learned about one another. We learned empathy! This small move is turning into something big, I think!

I want to combine social-emotional learning with social studies discussion tactics. Can these deep self-analysis can help students make more meaningful connections with their classmates during collaborative discussion?

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