Empatico Blog

This weekend, I took my two daughters to the zoo in Los Angeles, where I live. As we stood looking over the tiger enclosure, my 11-year-old turned to me and explained that she was feeling conflicted. She was having fun, she said, but she recently wrote a paper for school about the problems that animals in zoos face, and learned that some people believe that zoos shouldn’t even exist.

Dear Leaders: SEL Actually Matters. A Lot. Emotions are running high across American public education in 2022. Pundits set on stoking the country’s divides are calling it a culture war.

Thanks to You, We’re Connecting Classrooms Everywhere in Exciting, New Ways! Over the past few years, we have been tested unlike any time in our recent history. From global discord to the pandemic to economic instability, our society has accommodated many changes that have caused extreme stress and uncertainty. Our education system, our schools, and […]

Hello, When I joined Empatico as the executive director almost a year ago, I joined a global community that’s passionate about the same things I am—connecting educators and broadening the minds of students around the world through empathetic, social, and emotional skill building. We live in an increasingly connected world where language and geographic barriers […]

Meet Shraya! Shraya is our Associate Manager for Content at Empatico. That means she designs all the fun social-emotional learning activities educators use to foster empathy with their students. Get to know all the awesome work she does! Name:  Shraya Sharma Title:  Associate Manager, Content Where are you based?  New York City, New York  What do you […]

Meet Ioanna! Ioanna Moriatis is our Program Assistant at Empatico. She works on everything from programs to social media and is based out of Cairo, Egypt! Get to know Ioanna and the awesome work she does here. Name:  Ioanna Moriatis Title:  Program Assistant Where are you based? Cairo, Egypt What do you do at Empatico?  […]

Meet Empatico’s Senior Director of Product, Mike Estano! Mike joined the Empatico Team in March of 2022, and is leading our team as we revamp the Empatico platform. Get to know more about Mike and his journey to Empatico here

This month, we’re featuring Lynette Richau, an elementary school educator of the deaf and hard of hearing. Lynette is active member of the Empatico community, and has been an Empatico Kindness Champion as well as a participant in the Empathy Across the USA: Race and Identity program. Read on to learn more about Lynette!

At Empatico, we know how powerful sharing human stories can be. This year, we are featuring some of the amazing and inspiring stories of our community members each month. Our first spotlight is on 3rd-grade educator Syndie White of Palm Beach Florida. Our team fell in love with her personality and passion for teaching a […]

¡Feliz 2022! El año pasado fue uno de muchos cambios y nuevas experiencias. Después de reflexionar sobre el año 2021, Empatico está emocionado de comenzar el 2022 con más oportunidades para aprender, conectar con el mundo y difundir alegría.   Para ayudar a los estudiantes a reflexionar sobre las experiencias del año pasado y a celebrar […]

Happy 2022!  Last year was a roller coaster of change and new experiences. After reflecting on last year’s journey, Empatico is excited to start the new year with more opportunities to spread joy, learn and connect.  To help kids reflect on last year’s experiences and celebrate the new year, we’re ringing in 2022 with a […]

At Empatico, one of our favorite parts of the winter season is learning about the holidays and traditions that are important to our friends and colleagues. This year, our team hopes to help kids around the world feel the same joy we do when we learn about new ways to observe the holidays.   Today, we’re […]

Empathy Explorers, the adventure continues! With World Kindness Week coming up, we would like to share a special way to infuse more kindness into your classroom.   We all know that practicing kindness and compassion is more important than ever to help students connect with one another and build the social-emotional skills needed to succeed. This […]

Welcome back! We hope that all of you had a restorative, safe summer with your loved ones, and that your school years are off to a smooth start.  The Empatico team and I spent the summer reflecting on the power of kindness and connection, and how we can help foster a global community that cares […]

Searching for Inspiration for Your Summer Reading? It’s not too late to add some good reads to your list! With many schools around the world now well into their summer vacations, we know that children and teachers alike are already making their way through their summer reading lists. Beyond stimulating students’ imaginations and creativity, books […]

We’re so excited to announce the launch of our newest program, the Coding with Empathy Challenge. Developed in partnership with Code.org and with funding from the Stevens Initiative, this program will bring together middle school students from the United States and Egypt to collaborate in a series of empathy-building computer science and virtual exchange experiences.  […]

Welcome back to the Empatico blog! We’ve missed you! This is our first post in over a year, and there’s no better time for us to write a new blog post than during Teacher Appreciation Week. During this last year, we have reevaluated our platform and how we can best work with our educator community. […]

In order to prevent myself from going into complete burnout mode, I have come to grips with the fact that I, just like all of us, must give myself some daily self-love in order to prevail. I have come to savor my morning cup of coffee like it’s a new found gourmet specialty. Besides that essential cup of coffee, there are several other things that bring me pleasure and help me to de-stress that might offer all educators some relief.

Last month we launched a limited series of brand new Empathy Hours — virtual “meetups” for educators, experts, and caregivers to stay connected, find a sense of community, and support one another through trying times.

As educators and families adjust to a new reality of remote learning, Empatico is also adapting to continue spreading empathy and community.

While a classroom to classroom video exchange may not be possible right now, connecting through Empatico can still be a great opportunity to learn how other communities are approaching or defining “learning” during this time as well as a great way for students to stay connected with each other while physically apart.

Now, more than ever, we recognize the need to come together as a community, and to support one another as we venture into uncharted territories and adapt to the realities of remote learning. We hope the Empatico community can serve as a space to share ideas and resources, connect with one another, and foster ongoing conversations as we continue to adjust in the coming weeks.

What is perhaps most important to understand is that, at its core, empathy means feeling with the person and understanding their situation. It requires that we open our minds and become vulnerable enough to relate to others at deeper levels. It also entails acknowledging the other person’s humanity, that they are equally important as we are, and that their feelings are equally valid. When we do this, we can truly feel with another person and empathize with them. This process is what ultimately strengthens the connection between two individuals.

To visualize empathy in action, we’ll explore two stories from real teachers who use Empatico.

Results from our recent research suggest Empatico can help narrow the intergroup empathy gap. Students were more likely to practice empathy and recognize similarities with peers from different communities.

Whether you have just signed up or are on your 20th exchange, we hope you check out and enjoy what’s new on the platform!

You asked and we listened! In response to what has – by far – been the #1 piece of feedback since Empatico was created two years ago, we are delighted to announce our newest feature: match requests! Educators now have the ability to request a partner from a list of available classes.

What a week! Our team had a blast at ISTE 2019. Here are a few highlights from our time in Philadelphia

One of the many blessings of teaching where I do (just outside Montreal, Canada) is that we are not shackled by a lot of standardized testing and the emphasis on results that often accompanies it. Elementary level teachers are free to deliver the curriculum in ways that suit their students in a given year and […]

It is so rare that you get to be part of something that is both really fantastic and really important. If you are a teacher who works with kids with special needs, then this is one of those moments when your class can be part of something that truly is life-changing. This week, Empatico is […]

This is Part II of a two-part series on empathy across the curriculum. You can find Part I of the series, Empathy HERE. We asked arts educators from around the world this question: How do you teach empathy in arts classrooms? We heard from a music teacher, an art teacher, a classroom teacher, and a […]

We regularly hear from educators how important it is to develop empathy in children and that it must be a normal, constant part of school. This EdWeek piece summarizes it well: “For teachers, empathy is an indispensable tool of instruction, and arguably, the key attribute (beyond knowledge of content, pedagogy, and student development) to being […]

“People ask me all the time how I build empathy in the classroom. The answer is one day at a time, one experience at a time, with great intention, focus and practice.” – Wendy Turner, 2nd Grade Teacher In July 2018, eight months after Empatico launched, we hit an important milestone: 1,000 educators in the […]

Imagine if kids everywhere could discover what life is like for their peers across the globe… Spark Empathy Grants can help make that possible for your students. Whether your classrooms need new technology, your teachers are looking for an innovative professional development workshop, or you’re hoping to integrate more social-emotional learning into your curriculum, Empatico’s […]

The chaos of the morning begins. It’s 8:30. Students are arriving and beginning to unpack. As I’m walking around the room checking on students, making sure agendas are filled in and lunch count is taken, students are swarming me like flies with questions. The one question I hear over and over again is, “Are we […]

What does dog food have to do with Empatico? In the tech world, “dogfooding” refers to testing your own product as if you were a user to work out glitches and walk through the user’s experience. At Empatico, one of our amazing team members, Kelsey Todd, “dogfoods” our video tool by volunteering at an afterschool […]

“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.”   These famous words from rapper Eminem have played over my car radio more than a couple of times in the past seventeen years since their release. But lately, I can’t help but think about how the feelings described in these lyrics plague more and more […]

Reflection is a necessary, but sometimes overlooked, part of learning. It allows students and teachers to process experiences, refine their thinking, and deepen understanding. Reflection can take a variety of formats from journal writing, to individual student reflection, to group discussion. But one of the most effective and engaging ways to incorporate reflection exercises into […]

I’m Kathi, a Technology Integration Specialist working in Washington Township Public Schools, and I’m excited to share my story with you. Sometimes a great article or story has a backstory–a bit of history that makes the whole story more meaningful and more impactful to the reader. This is one of those stories. I believe this […]

Our administration is elated that a donation of this magnitude has provided our district with the gift of global connectedness. At this point, most of our teachers have signed up for Empatico, most have received the professional development they need to feel confident using the platform, and many have already completed a first connection […]

Using technology in the classroom to make global connections can benefit students in a variety of ways from improving learning through fun and engaging experiences to increasing student confidence in the use of technology tools. Although integrating technology in the classrooms can often be a great way to engage students and build their communication skills, […]

Cooperation is a foundational life skill for students to develop as they learn to navigate relationships in the classroom, at home, and eventually, in the workplace. Being relevant at every stage of life, it is no surprise that cooperation is recognized as a civic virtue in the U.S. National Curriculum for Social Studies College, Career, […]

The ability to actively listen and communicate respectfully with others can help students in everyday conversations as well as in developing meaningful relationships with their peers. This skill involves a number of nonverbal cues, such as eye contact, body position, nodding, and facial reactions, as well as the cognitive focus to listen and take turns. […]

The ability to understand another person’s perspective can help with students’ social skills and relationships within the classroom and beyond, which can have a profound effect on everything from classroom culture to individual student learning and mental health. Perspective taking is one of the first steps to relating to another person’s life experiences as it […]

Critical thinking is an essential skill in today’s classroom that not only benefits students’ academic learning but also supports social interactions and relationships as it is closely related to problem solving, perspective taking, and conflict resolution. Critical thinking helps students understand the difference between assumptions, opinions, and facts as well as how to investigate new […]

While it’s tough to claim that one can ‘teach’ empathy, educators can create experiences that help students exercise their ability to empathize with other people. In particular, educators can help students learn about their own points of view, appreciate different perspectives, think critically about different perspectives, and cooperate and communicate in a respectful, positive manner. Empatico activities incorporate each of these key skills to help educators and students as they practice empathy in the classroom.

Meeting peers from a new community or another country can be a fun and exciting way to introduce your students to the many different languages, cultures, and experiences that exist around the world. However, it may also be a new experience for you and your students, and meeting new peers who are culturally different can […]

Empatico eliminates the burden of finding intentional, goal-oriented activities for your primary classroom by offering nine completely free activity plans created specifically for partner classrooms to do together.

Focusing on SEL in the classroom can help students manage emotions and communicate respectfully and efficiently, which in turn can improve interpersonal relationships and reduce bullying. In the classroom and beyond, SEL helps students solve problems and demonstrate more prosocial behaviors such as kindness and empathy.

Virtual exchanges offer the opportunity for students to have deep, meaningful, and interactive conversations with their peers around the world, which can be especially important for those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to travel internationally. They teach us that even if geography separates us, people still share many similarities around the world.