‘Glitches’ didn’t always exist in our vocabulary.  As we’ve been working and learning remotely much more recently due to COVID-19, we’ve experienced these on our screens and seen our faces in frozen poses we’d rather forget. Do we perhaps notice the glitches with technology more than we would in our conversations, actions, in person?

This week’s LifeLab lesson is about how we can use empathy when listening and communicating and collectively we shared how glitches previously existed – whenever we have been misunderstood.

When our internet drops out, it’s on par with when we feel misunderstood or when we don’t get to tell our side of the story. Our students resonated strongly with an experience shared by one who experienced not being heard by a parent or educator. He spoke of when he was called out on his behaviour but wasn’t given the opportunity to provide all the details leading up to the situation.

Feelings of frustration and injustice surfaced. It also seems that as parents or educators, we sadly miss an opportunity in those moments to teach taking responsibility for one’s actions and behaviours.

In our empathy lesson, we model taking responsibility for trying to understand the other person’s experience as best we can. This was illustrated by a fine Year 4 student who didn’t quite have the right piece needed for his LEGO activity during our class. His comment about how he ‘just used another one to try and make it fit’ resonated with our earlier discussion on empathy. When we’re listening, maybe we don’t have the same experience or memory as the person sharing, but if we can just find a small piece, something that helps us relate, we can indeed help avoid the glitches.