The Role of Compassion in Teaching

by: Eric Hess

I came across an story on about what was required to be a teacher. It said, “compassion, empathy, being positive, being a builder and being able to inspire. I wanted to focus on compassion. We all must look at each student as an individual and consider that there is so much more than their intellectual capabilities. We know that everyone has a story and different life experiences. Basically, when you care you become a better teacher. Students will be more responsive and learn to trust you and have a connection with you and therefore they are more open to learning. You will also have some students that are quiet and do not interact with you or the other students. Shy students may be shy because of fear, tension, apprehension or embarrassment. They are self-conscious and there is usually a reason they lack confidence, especially when they are presented with new challenges. Compassion is a big part of working with these students. These student need to be given the opportunity to meet and communicate with other students, make them feel you are accessible and give this student responsibilities. Recognizing their successes will also be very important. So, make the classroom inclusive and remember that compassion plays a big role!


About utagtateaching

This blog is dedicated to providing resources to the Graduate Teaching Assistants in the UTA MFA program pertaining to teaching strategies, methods, and materials. We aim to start a public discussion that serves to enhance the classroom experience for both teacher and student.

One comment

  1. Billi

    Thanks for writing this, Eric. I think it is probably true that “when you care, you become a better teacher,” because it doesn’t just mean you care about the students as individuals — it also means you care about what you’re doing, and that you want to do it well, so you are self-educating and looking for ways to improve, including and beyond compassion.


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