Empathy unlike sympathy grows connection. Empathy involves us understanding someone else’s perspective, putting ourselves in their shoes, and feeling with them. When we are empathetic we are able to genuinely care for others. Empathy involves the suspension of judgment and connecting with the emotion felt by another person. Jesus’ encouragement to “Love your neighbour as yourself”, requires this capacity for empathy. It involves us being fully present with the person and responding with care.
Reflection and conversation around the following youtube clip may open up greater insight into how we might grow a stronger habit of empathy in our lives and in our homes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw
We grow habits of thinking in ourselves and our families. We might reflect on how we respond to media stories which humiliate or reduce the dignity of a person. Modelling empathy rather than with judgment could be a life changing gift.
Brown, B (2013, 10th Dec 2013). Empathy Vs Compassion [youtube]. Retrieved from 'https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw sighted 7/02/19.
The Welcome Breakfast provided a wonderful opportunity for families to connect with each other. The friendly and generous hospitality provided by the Friends of Pacific, our Hospitality department, staff and senior students added to the warm ambience as people enjoyed the opportunity to connect with each other. Thank you to everyone who made the morning such a special time of connection. Friday morning was capped off by the Junior College Commencement Service where we enjoyed the energy of our young people as we opened their school year and celebrated the role of our Year 5 students as leaders of the Junior College.
Early in the school year we invite parents and Senior College students to participate in a variety of information evenings. The informed partnership between parents, students and teachers is an important element in student engagement and success. Thank you to our staff who have led these sessions so well and to the parents who have availed themselves of this important opportunity to learn more about the next phase of learning for their children. We look forward to connecting with families at next week’s Year 10 and Middle College Information evenings on Monday and Tuesday night respectively.
One of the important pieces of information shared at the P-5 evening was the implementation of an e-Smart Digital licence for students. The licence requires young people to complete 11 modules that relate to the safe and effective use of their devices. The course provided by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation will be trialled this year with Year 4-7 students and is an important initiative in growing young people’s capacity and safety in their use of digital devices. The program which has a cost of $10 per student comes with great resources for parents, teachers and students and we look forward to sharing these with the community.
We also look forward to e-safety advocate Susan McLean sharing important information with our students and staff during the day on Monday 18th February and then with parents at 6.00pm. In this ever-changing arena of digital technology, Susan will provide some valuable insights and strategies for staff, students and parents to flourish within our highly connected world.
May God grant us soft eyes and open hearts to be fully present with others.
Dr Bronwyn Dolling, Principal