La Crosse program aims to help teachers nurture empathy

photo of teachers working together

La Crosse Tribune: America is experiencing an empathy deficit. At a time when teens are 40 percent less empathetic than they were 30 years ago, cultivating empathy should be a high priority for parents and teachers, says Michele Borba, an educational psychologist and author.

At UW-La Crosse’s Fall for Education Conference Nov. 3-4, Borba will share how to teach students the nine essential habits of empathy — lessons from her latest book, “UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World.”

Borba, an expert in childhood development, has been featured on “Today,” “Dateline,” “The View,” “Dr. Phil,” “Dr. Oz” and “The Early Show.”

UW-L’s Fall for Education conference is a professional development opportunity for area pre-kindergarten-grade 12 teachers and administrators, as well as UW-L’s Master of Education-Professional Development graduate program students.

It is sponsored by the university’s Institute for Professional Studies in Education program.

“Education is changing so much,” says Patricia Markos, director of UW-L’s IPSE program. “We are finding out so much more. If we [educators] can be the ones to make a difference in a child’s life while in school, we should be the ones making that difference.

“A teacher might be the only person in child’s life who ever gives them a compliment or smiles at them,” Markos said.

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