Psychology Webinar- “What’s it like to be an Empathetic Teacher”

Loyola Degree college had organized a Webinar on 20.06.2020. The topic was “What’s it like to be an Empathetic Teacher”. The duration of the session was 1 hour 30 minutes. The Department of Psychology had organized the event under the leadership of Ms. Blenita Lewis, Head of the Department, Psychology and Ms. Umaina Hafeez, Guest Faculty, Psychology. The Resource Person was Ms. Ashwini N.V, Founder-Director of Muktha Foundation. The webinar was conducted using Zoom Clouds Meeting. We also went live on Facebook to reach a wider range of people. We had a total of 308 participants on Zoom. Participants included Principals from various schools and colleges all over the country, Professors, Lecturers, Teachers, Counsellors and students from India and outside India. We had few participants from The United States of America, Rome and Mauritius.

The Agenda of the Webinar:
• A message from the Principal. Fr.Francis D’Almeida SJ
• A short video to introduce the Resource person, Ms. Ashwini N.V
• Commencement of the session
• Interactive session
• Vote of thanks

The Principal of Loyola Degree College, Bengaluru, Fr. Francis D’Almeida SJ addressed the participants with a welcome note and his perspective on an Empathetic Teacher. He also laid emphasis on the need for Counselling during the times of Pandemic and how an expression of empathy can go a long way in helping people. He mentioned that teachers should show empathy throughout their lives to their students, especially those who are suffering, with disabilities, learning disabilities. Father also spoke a few words about Loyola Degree College, Bengaluru and the vision of the college.

A short video was played to introduce the resource person, Ms. Ashwini N.V. It contained her journey and accomplishments. The duration of the short video was 01 minute 04 seconds.

The session commenced where Ms. Ashwini gave a few general instructions before touching upon the topic. Power Point slides were used to conduct the session. Topics were taken from the domain of psychology in order to understand the concept of Empathetic Teacher. Difference between sympathy, apathy and empathy was discussed. The session continued with another important aspect called “Cognitive Distortion that affect interactions with students”. According to Ms. Ashwini, cognitive distortions are scratches or errors in our thinking style. Cognitive distortions are what makes a person unempathetic. The fundamental job of a teacher is to detect the cognitive distortion and then discard it. Eight different types of cognitive distortions were discussed; over generalization, mind reading, personalization, labelling, dichotomous thinking, magnification and minimization. All of these were explained in detail with examples relevant to each one’s experiences. Ms. Ashwini continued the session talking about “Different Listening Styles” and how a listening skill can lead to empathy. She explained six types which include, The Preoccupieds, The Interrupters, The Combatives, the Whatevers, The Analysts, The Engagers. She mentioned about the Do’s and Don’ts of an Empathetic teacher by giving examples of sentence formation and empathetic language like, “I understand” or “I agree with you”. With this we then began the interactive session. Participants asked questions directly to Ms. Ashwini and few participants also used the chat mode to interact with Ms. Ashwini. The duration of the interactive session was 20 minutes.

Few instructions were given to the participants regarding the feedback forms and E-Certificates. Participants were assured of E-certificates for active participation during the webinar. We concluded the webinar with a formal vote of thanks. Ms. Blenita Lewis, Head of the Department, Psychology rendered the vote of thanks. The session concluded at 11.45 AM.

Concluding message “Let us all inculcate Empathy as a life skill”

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