In one of my classroom visits as a Roots of Empathy Instructor, there was a child with an Education Assistant (EA) seated right next to him in the front row. He raised his hand often and asked lots of questions and even asked if I could bring a gift to the baby for him (a toy fish).
Just before I left the classroom, the EA approached me with tears in her eyes and said, “Julie, you have no idea what just happened here today. That is the first time that child has been able to stay for an entire lesson and it’s the first time he has ever raised his hand in class.”
The baby gave him the courage to share his voice. His wish for the baby at the end of the year was for the baby to grow up to love fish and sea creatures as much as he does. He told me that he has another friend who also shares his love of fish and that feels really good. Having someone who likes the same things as him helps him to feel like he belongs and he wanted the baby to always feel like she belongs.
Julie, Roots of Empathy Instructor