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Compassion. A profound concern for students that springs from the heart as well as from the head. Compassion. Literally: to suffer with Teachers share with students a sense of frustration, regret, and pain at the difficulties and struggles they must undergo to learn

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compassion

Compassion

A profound concern for students that springs from the heart as well as from the head

compassion1
Compassion
  • Literally: to suffer with
    • Teachers share with students a sense of frustration, regret, and pain at the difficulties and struggles they must undergo to learn
    • Teachers have to remember the difficulties
    • Without this sense of common experience, there is no successful practice of the art of teaching
compassion2
Compassion
  • “Compassion requires first that teachers know who their students are.”
    • Learn the names of students (see Highet)
    • Use questionnaires
    • Discover how they differ from one another
    • Discover how their minds work
    • Discover what their views are
    • Discover their strengths and weaknesses
compassion3
Compassion
  • Con’t
    • Not charity
      • Teachers show regard for their students by setting high, though always reasonable, standards
      • Teachers show regard by holding students responsible for meeting them
      • Teacher show regard by exhibiting compassion toward them as they struggle to meet those standards
      • Making work easier is not compassionate but negligent condescencion
compassion4
Compassion
  • “Compassion requires that teachers put themselves in their students’ places.”
    • This imaginative act enables students to anticipate the difficulties and reactions of their students
    • Helps teachers anticipate questions and misunderstandings
    • Helps teachers be honest and fair in their evaluations of student performance
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Compassion
  • “Compassion makes approvable enjoyable and correction palatable.”
    • Good teachers correct their students, but always in such a way as to protect the students’ dignity and self-respect
compassion6
Compassion
  • “Compassion moves teachers to acknowledge their students’ struggles.”
    • Good teachers are not dismissive of student difficulties
    • Good teachers do not dismiss student accomplishment
    • Good teachers do not allow their natural superiority to dominate their attitudes toward those who struggle
compassion7
Compassion
  • “Compassion means acting as a whole person.”
    • Compassionate teachers bring their whole personalities to class
    • Because they are professionals sufficiently mature to have emotional lives that embrace, undergird, and strengthen professional engagement
    • Teachers with no obvious signs of human feeling cannot establish that sense of comfort and security so necessary to creating a right teaching environment
compassion8
Compassion
  • Anyone contemplating teaching as a profession should consider compassion as a measure of suitability.