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 The leaders of tomorrow are sitting in the classrooms of today and they need imagination and empathy to be able to identify and solve society’s problems.”

Motivating insights from Mary Gordon, the Founder and President of Roots of Empathy regarding the profound purpose of training for our Roots of Empathy classroom programs/programmes and our Seeds of Empathy childcare centre programs/programmes for this school year.

Who do we train? Are there opportunities for you to have a long and rewarding career with Roots of Empathy?

It STARTS with being a volunteer Roots of Empathy Instuctor.  Roots of Empathy Instructors receive an intensive four-day training, ongoing mentoring and professional development. They work in the classroom throughout the school year with the volunteer family and students to deliver the Roots of Empathy program/programme.  Using the curriculum and philosophies of Roots of Empathy, Instructors guide the children in the experiential learning that happens around the green blanket, helping the children to observe and reflect on the baby’s feelings, and then their own and those of their classmates. Instructors set the tone in a Roots of Empathy classroom, creating a risk-free learning environment where children can share their thoughts and feelings without judgment. To further explore becoming a Roots of Empathy Instructor,  click here for more information.

Roots of Empathy Mentors: Roots of Empathy Mentors have several years of successful experience as Roots of Empathy Instructors and have delivered the program/programme in a variety of curriculum levels. In addition to their experience as Roots of Empathy Instructors, they are trained to develop coaching and leadership skills that enable them to support and guide the Instructors in the delivery of their programs/programmes. The dedication of our Mentors is truly inspiring.

Roots of Empathy Trainers: Roots of Empathy Trainers are Roots of Empathy Mentors and/or Instructors who have had several years of experience in the organization and have developed a deep knowledge of the program and philosophy of the organization. The role of the Roots of Empathy Trainer is to provide the 4-day intensive training to Instructors. Trainers play a crucial role in ensuring continuous program/programme delivery year after year.

Seeds of Empathy: In licenced child care centres participating in the Seeds of Empathy program/programme, we train the whole staff,  giving specialized training to those who deliver various parts of the program/programme and contributing to their professional development. The Seeds of Empathy program/programme is designed to foster empathy, social and emotional competence and early literacy skills for children aged three to five years.

The Benefits of High- Quality Training

Our training ensures the  highest level of program/programme delivery integrity and effectiveness,  and is consistently assessed.

  • Over 2 decades of independent research shows that Roots of Empathy reduces aggressive behaviors, including bullying, while enhancing empathy and fostering pro-social behaviors like sharing, helping, and inclusion in children that lasts over time.
  • Our most recent global Annual Program Evaluation for the 2021 and 2022 year, shows that a sweeping majority of  Students, Teachers, ROE Instructors, and Volunteer Parents indicate in their feedback that ROE fosters the development of emotional literacy and empathy. Read more about the overwhelmingly positive response to our other 4 goals.
  • Roots of Empathy has received several honours, notably Roots of Empathy was inducted into the ‘Hall of Fame’ for education innovation, a permanent recognition by the Finnish non-profit HundrED which annually evaluates education programs/programmes for their impact on delivering quality education innovations that ‘transform school systems’ and ‘equip students to thrive as global citizens’.

The training is forever connected to a baby’s first job and children’s wellbeing

All of the in-depth training for the roles described above, helps support the award-winning curriculum that at its heart, is focused on family visits, from a volunteer parent and their baby, who becomes the “Tiny Teacher”.

Through guided experiential learning, children are encouraged to witness a loving relationship between a parent and baby, read a baby’s emotional cues and take the baby’s perspective.  They develop an understanding and vocabulary for the baby’s feelings, and through observation and thoughtful reflection,  children learn to name and understand their own feelings, and gain insight into how others may be feeling. This newfound emotional literacy helps children grasp how their actions and words can impact others positively and negatively, ultimately helping them to make friends and contributing to the improved mental health and overall well-being of the children in the classroom.

In this educational journey, the baby serves as the “teacher,” illustrating to children that we all share similar feelings, which lie at the core of our humanity.


An enormous and heartfelt expression of gratitude to all those who contributed to, as well as participated in, the training.