Empathy is your ability to identify and understand another person’s perspective. As educators, you recognize that students learn differently. Your empathy allows you to form a connection to enhance their learning. According to John Hattie, the quality of the teacher-student relationship is one of the most significant influences affecting student progress. When students have difficulty learning it is essential to understand their “why.” Too many times, the focus is on what students are not learning instead of why they are not learning. Practicing empathy gives you a chance to understand how students think and feel during the learning process.
Your connection with your students starts with understanding where the barriers are to their learning. When you understand that, you can effectively create the most effective IEP or MTSS plan. Here are some examples to consider.
You will have students that have a cognitive impact in one or more of these areas. The degree of the impact will vary and the student may need either an IEP or MTSS plan. Empathy can be a powerful tool that helps you understand why students are having difficulty learning. Empathy is the way to connect. In summary, as Dr. James Comer states, “no significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.”