Title: Compassionate Teaching Practices: Cultivating Appreciation, Care, and Kindness
Presenters: Stefanie T. Baier; Samara Chamoun (Department of Mathematics); Hima Rawal (Second Language Studies)
Date: May 10th, 2023
Time: 10:00 am - 11:15 am
As Parker Palmer says, “The connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods, but in their hearts – meaning hearts in its ancient sense, as the place where intellect and emotion and sprit will converge in the human self,” this workshop focuses on compassionate teaching practices. These practices, which encourage positive interactions and create a learning environment reducing stress and anxiety, are generally not taught in any pedagogy seminar but are cultivated by the instructor. These practices can be embedded in our day-to-day teaching irrespective of any subject or content we teach, can take on various forms, including check-ins about feeling states and stress-levels, contemplative practices, and small acts of appreciation, care and kindness. Reinhard Haller (2019) established the “Seven Steps of Appreciation”, recognizing that humans need to be attended to first and then treated with mindfulness, respect, and acknowledgement in order to feel valued. Only when all these steps are in place, trust can be built which fosters mutual appreciation and creates a space of connection and belonging, both of which are important for student learning and engagement. In the spirit of many holistic educators like Parker Palmer, bell hooks, Nell Noddings, Peter Kaufman and Janine Schipper, participants are invited to share in a space that looks at the whole learner who can be present in the body, mind and spirit (hooks, 1994). The participants of this workshop will have the opportunity to practice care, kindness, gratitude, and take a number of compassionate practices back to their instructional spaces for immediate implementation.