My top virtue above all the others was empathy. Initially I didn’t feel this would have been such a high scoring virtue for myself but after reading the Glanz description I started to make connections. I also am very hard on myself as a person and realize this plays in to my ability to see the positives in myself. Empathy obviously involves thinking of others and putting yourself in other shoes. My strongest connection I made while reading about empathetic leaders brought me back to my favorite and most eye opening life changing undergraduate class. I took a human relations course and my professor totally opened up my eyes to diversity. She created a passion within me to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves and to truly see the disparity and injustices in our world that my previous entitled, naive, and sheltered life hadn't taught me. Along with this, I've experienced situations in which I made the mistake of not seeing the other person’s perspective. Maybe it comes with age and experience as well but I feel I can see both sides to the story and look at other perspectives. I’m not as quick to judge as I initially thought I was. I am able to empathize which has also given me the ability to share these ideas with my husband, family and colleagues.
How does this connect to AGAPE?
Adaptation and generativity rely heavily on cooperation and working well with others. I believe intensely that it is my job to help children learn how to work with others as a team player. I provide so many opportunities throughout the day and year for students to build those connections with each other and recognize and celebrate their differences. In a district mostly dominated by one ethnicity, I feel it is especially crucial to help create awareness and respect for others by teaching many multicultural lessons. Presence is providing opportunities for social justice and problem-solving. An effective problem solver needs to see ideas from other perspectives and I feel even at the young age of kindergarten, I’m able to support and help kids understand and think about how their actions affect others. I hope I am creating the same empathetic leadership skills I possess within my student and ignite that passion that my teacher ignited in me.