Workshops for Teachers
Creating Collective Compassionate Memories
The experiences of learning in a classroom shape the earliest of memories for children. The teacher holds a central and essential role in the formation of these collective memories of childhood and through their value systems and teaching methods as well as their empathetic presence, they shape the young minds to grow and push themselves to become better citizens and achievers of their unique potentials in the future. Vygotsky spoke about the role of scaffolding in detail and how a teacher or a caregiver deeply involves themselves in the opening up of new windows of possibility for the children to explore their personal and social selves through the classroom and home environment. An empathetic and socially aware teacher through their care and mentorship forms a lasting impression on the minds of children as to how they associate some of the early values and core beliefs that guide them lifelong. These memories embedded are what often shape career choices, social behaviour and family life of the young minds who are in the teachers’ care. The classroom then in our view, becomes the centre of public life, community living and carries the power of being the foundation and safe space that children can call their own, thereby becoming the place where they start initiating change for their own welfare, liberation and learning. Therefore we believe that teachers are the pioneers and role models for children in engaging with our concepts and take the lead in demonstrating the merits of practicing empathy within the classroom to make it a space for joyous learning, sharing and growing. To quote an example: All sorts of amazing false narratives are circulating about the origin and treatment of COVID-19. Over time, these contemporary false narratives may become a part of the collective memory of large groups of people, leading to unfortunate choices in the future. Asking students to examine the part they play in creating the collective memories of their own generation, can help them understand this concept as well as help them realise the responsibility that they have towards nation building.