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On Teaching Kindness and Compassion

By Linda Mishkin
On Teaching Kindness and Compassion

Every once in a while, a different friend sends me this video, almost magically, when I am feeling a bit out of it, re-evaluating purpose and meaning in teaching and learning, and my ability to do my job well.
In my heart of hearts, as I tell my students on Day One, if we can quote Shakespeare, solve challenging physics and math computations, write brilliant essays, etc., but do not know how to treat one another and every/anyone that we interact with daily, with kindness and compassion, then education from parents and teachers has failed and, somehow, our curriculums did not help us to teach in the "real" sense, which in my mind means to help each individual to know him/herself better, recognize personal strengths and weaknesses, improve in all areas of academics and inter- and intra-personal skills in order to evolve into the best "human beings" (confident, creative, and kind) that we can be.
Is not, after all, the purpose of gaining knowledge in the first place to help us understand who we are and why we are here, to solve personal and world problems, to create ways to improve life for everyone, and to make our brief time and the time of others on earth better and better? Can this ever happen without empathy and concern for all?
Kindness, like all practices, can be best learned through example and acts of repetition...
Watch the following and enjoy. I LOVE IT... Click to view.
Linda Mishkin has been a secondary English teacher in Venezuela, New York City, the Dominican Republic, and most recently in Nairobi, Kenya.

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