Academic Compassion


Today . . . do you know if your students . . .

  • have eaten breakfast?
  • brushed their teeth?
  • heard some praise?
  • managed to stay warm?
  • listened to a story?
  • solved a problem?
  • eaten lunch?
  • smiled?
  • spoken?
  • felt heard?
  • had a chance to be creative?
  • felt valued?
  • slept well last night?
  • will be able to sleep well tonight?

It’s not an exhaustive list. It’s not just a classroom list. It’s a list I am working on–it is my list to encourage academic compassion.

There are only 180 days of learning, for most of us. As teachers we feel this sense of urgency, there’s never enough time and there’s so much to do. As we plan and monitor the academic pace, the academic merit of our efforts, it can be easy to forget that our students are children. They are whole people with whole stories.

Some of our students are coming to an urgent learning environment tired, hungry, lonely, and/or distracted. And sometimes they’re just having a bad day.


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