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The Power of Communication and Empathy in Class Management

by Teach For Lebanon - Nov 30,2022

Karen Hamzo, a Cohort 14 Fellow who teaches math and science at "Frères Unis" at the Dekwaneh semi-private school, described how she struggled to manage her class and overcame it through communication. "Frères Unis" is an inclusive school that welcomes children with learning disabilities and difficulties and places them in regular classes.

Karen has two students in first grade with learning disabilities, such as counting and writing numbers. One has a developmental disability, while the other struggles with communication. 

They continuously disrupted Karen's class by shouting and running around which made it very difficult to manage it. But soon enough Karen realized that she must learn how to communicate with them. As soon as she did, their behavior changed for the better! It turned out, all they needed was someone who would listen to them and empathize with them.

Moving onward, these two students were able to participate in all of the activities. Every time they went to the board and answered questions, their classmates applauded them which instilled their confidence. Karen also gave them hearts and stickers recognizing their efforts. This drove them to become highly motivated and engaged in her class.

Karen was determined to make a difference in their lives no matter how small. In order to form friendships and relationships among these students with special needs and the rest of the class, she encouraged the class to assist them while solving exercises.

Thanks to Karen's perseverance and belief in these kids, they switched from being disruptive elements to becoming confident children, engaged in class, and able to solve exercises on their own.

In a testimonial from the school principal and the parents of these two children, Karen was more than just a teacher. She was a caring friend, a good listener, and a living example of how empathy and love can go a long way.

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Number of fellows: 5

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