From the Principal’s Desk – 09 March, 2017

Dear Parents,

In the digital age where the real possibility of a disconnect can exist due to the medium of hiding behind a screen, it is clear that the emotion of having empathy is a vital one to instill in our children.

Sadly empathy is a skill not everyone possesses.

More and more schools have identified the importance of teaching empathy alongside the basics of reading and writing. It is that one emotion that allows us to connect with each other and have the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes. If understood well, it has the ability to make us less judgmental and understand what a person is going through – not because we feel sorry for them but rather because we connect as human beings and make a vulnerable choice to do so. Often not such an easy thing to do!

At HBIS we have made a conscious decision to ensure that we teach this valuable emotion. Through the “Cool to be me” programme in the Primary School, to the rejuvenated PSHE programme in the High School, we are determined to teach and remind all our students what it means to empathise with someone else. I ask all our parents to join us in reinforcing this emotion at home.

In a fast paced world where “dog eats dog”, and the art of “face to face” communication is diminishing, we owe it not just to ourselves but also to our students and children to ensure that we send them into the world as caring individuals.

I have included a link to a short 2 minute video which you might find interesting about the importance of teaching empathy and would like to conclude with the following words from the article attached: “We need to teach empathy in our schools and our homes, because only by practising it will our children grow up to be the empathetic people we want them to be. We can read. We can allow pretend play. But most of all, we can be present and connected to our children in their pain and sadness and suffering. By that example, they will learn the skill, and make the choice, to be connected to others”.

This Video Can Teach Kids — And Adults — About Empathy

Kind regards,

Grant Ruskovich

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