Increasing empathy in a primary grade classroom
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Increased empathy in education settings is linked to increased student success in social-emotional as well as academic learning. It is also linked to a reduction in bullying and negative peer interactions between students. In order to learn more about building empathy through modelling, I planned to examine the impacts of practicing empathy and mindful behaviors and reflect on my growth and impact on students and the classroom environment. In this professional development study, I observed and practiced mindful behaviors and modeled feelings-language in a first-grade classroom. I found that I could build trust and a positive classroom environment through practicing and modelling empathy. My skills and confidence as a new teaching professional grew and led me to identify plans for creating systems to provide and monitor social-emotional learning experiences in my future professional endeavors in elementary education.