Compassionate Educator- Feeling Vocabulary

Non Violent Communication (NVC)  is a way to communicating that helps you “resolve conflicts with more ease, learn to ask for what you want without using demands, begin to hear the true needs of others with less effort, and strengthen your personal and professional relationships.” (

This style of communicating can have a large impact on schools. The compassionate educator series shares resources from NVC that can be used in educational settings as well as life in general.

This week we are thinking about how to build feelings vocabulary. A wide-ranging feelings vocabulary provides deeper self-connection and an enhanced ability to express yourself to others. These skills can strengthen compassion in any learning environment. Help your students enhance their feelings vocabulary.

Feelings poster

With your students, make a list of feeling words, and try adding a new word a day for as many days as you can. Put your feelings vocabulary in a prominent place in your classroom. Each time students feel an emotion that isn’t on the list, invite them to express it by saying it aloud or writing it on the board.

Share what you think! What is important about having a large feelings vocabulary? How do you build feelings vocabulary in your life?

The Compassionate Parent Summer Series!

Summer is here and school is out! Summertime often allows us the opportunity to spend more time with our children and The Center for Nonviolent Communication provides some incredible parenting tips that we believe you will find useful! Here is the first part in our summer series:

“Is your intention to connect or to correct? Parents who can define their parenting purpose or intention can help meet children’s vital needs, including stability, security, safety and guidance.

What is your purpose or intention? To correct and manage your children or to connect with and enjoy them?

For one week, count the number of times in a day you correct your child, and then count the number of times you connect. Which number is greater? What might this information tell you?”

~The Center for Nonviolent Communication

One way to connect with your child is by making something special with them. Since Father’s Day is coming up, here is a great way to bond with your child and be prepared for this Sunday!

Fathers Day Card Craft

Here are the instructions for this Father’s Day idea and many more you can do with your children!

Crafts with your Kids!

Making time for family dinners is another way to connect with your children. This Emotional Life, a series developed to improve our social well-being and development provides many resources as well as this blog with more suggestions on 10 Tips to Connect with Your Child.

The Compassionate Educator

Last week Manny Scott, one of the original  Freedom Writers came to speak to schools in AISD. His powerful message began with, ” I was once considered unreachable.” Manny spoke of his experiences in life and at schools and the impact it had on his self-esteem. Just a freshman in high school, he began to say, “People like me, we ain’t supposed to make it!” Manny asks us, “How do you reach that kid?”


Manny Scott-Original Freedom Writer 

“When your students come through the door, do you see them as whole human beings with their own thoughts, feelings, needs, talents, interests and gifts to share? Or do you see them as lazy, disruptive, wild, demanding and rebellious?

How do they feel about themselves?

How you think about your students at the beginning of each day and throughout the year often communicates what you believe about them far louder than your words.

Quickly write down ten descriptive words or phrases that come to mind when you think of your students. Might the way you think about them be affecting the way they are acting?”

-The Center for Nonviolent Communication

Scientific American magazine recently published an article about how stereotypes can hinder academic performance….Read about it here!

How to Expel Hurtful Stereotypes from Classrooms across the Country

And another recommended read on stereotype threat and how it can influence behavior and performance…….


The Compassionate Educator

On behalf of the AISD Social and Emotional Learning Department we would like to extend our greatest appreciation and thanks for your amazing dedication to our students! You are our gift!teacher-appreciation-week[1]

“More than anything else, human beings want to contribute to life — to share our gifts.

Our gifts vary widely; everyone has unique contributions to make. Your ability to recognize student gifts and to receive them allows every student to meet his/her needs for belonging and contribution.

Make a list of all the students in your class (especially those you are having trouble making a connection with) and write down their gifts as you see them. Add to this list on a regular basis.”

-The Center for Nonviolent Communication

A Compassionate Educator

As we speak about our needs with those in our lives we begin to build connections and understanding. Look at our newest tip from our compassionate educator series:

“Learning is not the only need that students bring to school. They also bring their needs for belonging, fun, freedom and contribution. Unless these needs are acknowledged and met, students will not feel safe enough to fully engage in the learning process.

Create a needs inventory with your students — a list of all the needs they bring with them to school. At least once a week, ask everyone to look at the list and express how well their needs are being met at school.

Use this information as the basis for class discussion.”

Click on this link for an insight into what your students may be seeking in the classroom!

Needs Inventory

A Compassionate Educator

How often do we pick up on the nonverbal cues our students give us? Our body language sends a message that is often times more powerful than our words. Read the newest tip from our series:

“Body language can convey whether we are speaking from a “power over” or “power with” perspective.

What is your body language with your students? What is your body language communicating?

Regardless of how short a child is, to convey that we want to speak with them from a “power with” perspective, we can squat or sit down to talk with them eye-to-eye. We can invite students who are taller than we are to sit down so that we can talk eye-to-eye with them, as well.

Notice how often your students are looking up when they interact with you.”

A teacher and pupil

Here are some tips from the NEA website on how body language can help teachers establish a good rapport with their students!

NEA’s Tips for Teachers on Body Language