class

5 Simple Tips for Creating a Compassionate Classroom

by Samantha Gentrup As teachers get ready for the school year, we have to decide what our classrooms will look like and what our rules and procedures will be. We essentially have to create our classroom culture. What can we do to make sure we build a classroom of kindness and compassion for all beings?…

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Embracing Compassion Toward All: An Interview With Author Mark Hawthorne

Mark Hawthorne is an activist and the author of three books on animal rights and social justice: A Vegan Ethic: Embracing A Life Of Compassion Toward All; Bleating Hearts: The Hidden World of Animal Suffering; and Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism, which empowers people around the world to get active…

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protestors

5 Assumptions We Should Try to Make About Everyone

by Marsha Rakestraw The recent US election has highlighted a significant divisiveness. And the media and social media have been awash in hate speech and arguments, calls for healing and moving on, judgments, ideas about next steps, and assumptions. Usually when we make assumptions about others, they’re not positive ones. We tend to make split-second…

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blurry crowd of people walking on the street

5 Minute Changemaker: Pretend You Know (and Care About) Everyone

by Marsha Rakestraw The other day, as I was driving home from the dog park, I was following an SUV that stopped in the midst of a turn to let a pedestrian cross the street. Apparently the pedestrian and the people in the SUV knew each other, as they waved heartily and spoke briefly to…

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cultivating compassion

Practices for Cultivating Compassionate Communication Skills

by Marsha Rakestraw Sometimes I have a dream in which I run door-to-door in my neighborhood. I bang on the door until someone answers, and then I grab them by the shirt and scream at them to stop doing things that hurt other beings and to start being compassionate RIGHT NOW! Fortunately, I have better…

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kids in classroom

5 Minute Changemaker: Speak the Good in Others

by Marsha Rakestraw My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Leddy, had us students do something that I have never forgotten. She called it a “car wash.” Every week one of us would be the “car,” and the other students would form two lines in front of the car. Zigzagging from one side to the other, the…

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karen patterson

I Am a Humane Educator: Karen Patterson

IHE M.Ed. graduate Karen Patterson works as the director of humane education for the Humane Society of Huron Valley in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she built their humane education program from scratch. Karen spent 10 years as an elementary classroom teacher, where she incorporated humane education into her classroom lessons and activities. She and her…

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Caroline Crane

I Am a Humane Educator: Caroline Crane

IHE M.Ed. graduate Caroline Crane grew up near Detroit, Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree and became certified to teach elementary education. She then worked for several years as a vet tech for the Humane Society of Huron Valley. And since 1994 Caroline has been the vice president of education for the Humane Society of…

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war & peace

Children’s Picture Books About War and Peace

by Marsha Rakestraw Some children have known war their entire lives. As journalist and peace teacher, Colman McCarthy says, “Why are we violent, but not illiterate? Because we are taught to read.” We teach children science, math and competition, but not peace. We offer them lessons on good character and anti-bullying, but often don’t model…

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