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Seventh Graders Learn Empathy through Self-Reflection

Over the last several months, the seventh grade boys and girls have had opportunities to meet in groups as part of the Out-of-Door Middle School’s mission to emphasize the importance of social-emotional well-being and learning to maintain a more balanced life.
By combining dynamic activities with reflective discussions, the boys group aims to nurture the development of both self-awareness and empathy throughout the seventh grade. The group discussed how they can never be sure what others are dealing with in their own lives—just like others can never be sure of what we’re dealing with in our own. Facilitator Mr. Ethan Weiss stresses the importance of  being compassionate in all of their interactions. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,” says Mr. Weiss.

The girls facilitator, Ms. Gina King, has focused much of their time on self-worth. “My [group’s] goal is to celebrate who we are and to embrace ourselves without the constant comparison we have with social media, television, our friends, family, etc. We have so much negative self-talk that we usually aren’t even aware of.” Ms. King describes her group as “a community of seventh grade girls that are learning about self-worth, self-love, kindness for others and for themselves, compassion, and empathy.” She aims to create a place where the girls can share ideas and talk candidly about topics they are facing.
 
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