National Bunsen Burner Day (31st) & Lemon Chiffon Cake Day (29th)
The science teacher in me has to tip my hat to bunsen burners - everyone should get the opportunity to have a lab of 32 12-year olds acting like they’ve never seen fire before.
And Cake! The 28th is actually Black Forest Cake Day, but Lemon Chiffon cake reminds me of the PTO moms we had when I was an administrator. They made the BEST potluck lunches for the staff. One year, Julie B. brought in a lemon chiffon cake that was so good, I hoarded the leftovers in my file cabinet. Then she gave me the recipe.
Empathy is when you are able to feel what others are feeling either through emotional empathy (that gut feeling when you feel sad when others are sad, for example) or cognitive empathy (when you can understand the other person’s perspective and attitudes through knowledge rather than emotion). It’s really easy to get tangled in another person’s emotions through empathy.
Compassion, on the other hand, allows us to take a step back and while we understand or feel what the other is going through (good or bad), we are able to make rational decisions on how best to help them. Educators are master helpers, so compassion is nothing new. The trick is to help others without getting sucked into their emotional vortex.
This week, try this: the next time a coworker talks about how stressed they are, instead of discounting their emotion (“Cheer up!”) or trumping their feelings (“Oh, yes, I’ve been through that many times. One time…”) try extending some compassion. “We don’t have to talk. I’m happy to sit here with you.” or even “I don’t know what to say.”
Compassion For Kids: (from PositivePsychology.com) This extensive article contains definitions, 8 activities to do with students, 7 compassion videos for students, and 8 more activities for adults to do with kids (many of which could be done in the classroom).