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A Roots of Empathy Instructor shares…

A heartfelt moment happened in a grade 3 class. There was a student in the class who’s father had passed away from cancer a few months earlier. He hadn’t talked about it in class but was often very sad and withdrawn. The students were sharing their dreams and the transitional objects that help them to feel safe while they are having trouble sleeping. The student spoke up for the first time and shared that he sleeps with a teddy bear that he gave to his dad just before he died so he wouldn’t feel scared. There was so much empathy in the room. The student sitting beside him reached over and put his arm around his friend and said, “You must really miss your dad.” The classroom teacher and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes. The boy nodded his head yes and the two sat holding hands for the remainder of the visit. Wouldn’t you know that later in the year when our ROE baby became mobile, the student who had lost his dad was the first person he crawled over to. He climbed onto the little boy’s lap and gently touched his face. It was the only time I saw a genuine smile on that boy’s face all year.

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