Empathy Matters. It Matters a Whole Lot.

I recently got into a rather sad 140 character twitter discussion about teaching social justice in the social studies classroom. This particular coach was adamant that it was not my job, nor his, nor any teacher’s job to teach social justice or empathy in our classrooms. He argued that we are to remain neutral and unbiased and there was no way to maintain that transparency in the classroom if we taught about social justice, empathy, tolerance, social awareness, respect, etc. There came a point in the conversation that this coach and myself were not ever going to see eye to eye no matter what angle I tried. I say all of this to urge you to read the article posted below with this social justice rant. We cannot be neutral on a moving train. Empathy, awareness and social justice are not only important to teach, they are necessary to functioning in our society and living well. We should be promoting these things in every classroom, on every level so that hopefully one day we will have a world full  of aware, empathetic, creative thinkers and doers…not apathetic, ignorant judgers. I mean come on, even FORBES gets it.
“The capacity for empathy builds the socio-economic potential for individuals, and, further, likely holds the key for the success of business in the 21st century. Empathy isn’t just about hugs and pats on the back. It is a skill that can make young people more productive in work environments that require cooperation and in a global economy that becomes more complex with each passing day. It is what turns them into future leaders.”





Things That Pushed My Thinking & Questioning Forward This Week…

How Do We Define and Measure “Deeper Learning”? 


Things that matter…a lot….


Its Constitution Day! Time to Teach Obedience or History? 

Why truth and awareness matter in your classroom…


Nine Ways the Common Core Will Change Classroom Practice


Share this with anyone and everyone (including your students & parents) to help them understand the SHIFTS the Common Core are going to create


Put Ownership on Students with an EdCafe! 


Speaks for itself. A must do activity for a student-centered, critical application classroom.


Twitter as a Metacognitive Support Device 


The power of Twitter to promote individual expression, awareness of one’s thinking and opportunity to see and hear ALL voices in your classroom everyday. Check out #SandersTHS & SandersTHS2 to connect with my students all year! 

If They Don’t Practice Democracy, They Won’t Learn It

Preach, preach, preach. 

Stories in Flight 

Love this tool to help students visualize terms. Rather than asking them to google to find an image have them use this tool. Endless ways to use this tool to support visual understanding and deeper connections! 

10 Easy Tools for Making Infographics 

Best list I’ve seen of infographic tools. Students be using this tool in the coming weeks while analyzing American Dream references during the RNC and DNC. 

How to Fuel the Innovation Engine in Learning 

Read this, share this, promote this in your classroom and community every day. 

Smart Swarm (The Power of Collective Intelligence) 


SMART SWARM. The power of WE. Collective Intelligence is the only way we are going to be able to support our students in being prepared for life post K-12. Open your physical and digital minds and doors and realize the power of de-compartmentalizing. 




10 THINGS THAT MATTER (In Your Classroom and the World)

1. People

2. All people

3. Genuine empathy for all of those people

4. Opportunity for all of those people

5. Appreciation of every story of all of those people 

6. Yes, even those people you strongly disagree with. Their story, who they are, what they love, what they need, and what they want to become all matter equally and should be treated as such

7.  A community in which everyone’s best interest is equally considered and valued 

8. A deep rooted belief in the fact that we are all here of each other and for each other and that the collective we is always going to trump the singular I  

9. An inner spirit that wakes up fighting everyday for the betterment of themselves, their community and their world 

10. An inquistive mind that never stops learning, a questioning heart that never stops asking why, and a creative life that never stops believing that each of us has the ability to be the change we seek. Every. Single. Day.