Sunday, September 25, 2016

"Empathy feels connection; sympathy drives disconnection." Dr. Brené Brown

I found a terrific video by Dr. Brené Brown on YouTube about the difference between sympathy and empathy, and I have probably watched it 10 times,.  I have Tweeted it, posted it on LinkedIn, as well as Facebook, Google + , and Tumblr.  If you have not seen it, here is the link: 

As you know, I was a teacher for 37 years, and hundreds of occasions called for an intervention between students on my part, or for presenting strategies for solving differences between students or groups.  I wish I would have had this video to show, because when a person truly understands that empathy is actually "putting yourself in the shoes of another", suddenly the new perspectives turn into understanding.  When a person actually feels and understands empathy, there is no room for bullying, judgments, and put-downs. 

This video is simple enough for children to understand, yet sophisticated enough for high school and college students to appreciate.  The message is direct, engaging, humorous, and touching. Many friends "liked" my share on Facebook and Twitter, and all comments about this wonderful video were so positive. I urge my global colleagues in education to use this video as a teaching tool in the classroom. 

I believe that when we teach empathy, students become better, both as individuals and as participants in society.  So many issues divide our country, from race to economics to neighborhoods and more, and teachers need to do more to help students understand, tolerate, and accept those differences in a better way. This video provides great opportunity for discussion, as well as for use as a reference tool in the classroom.  Students will "get" this message in this video, a message that each of us needsI hope that all school environments will improve when students learn about empathy.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at .  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

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