Schools asked to prepare for ‘tiny teachers’

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They say you know you’re getting older when the police look younger: but in East Dunbartonshire it’s the teachers who are getting younger – incredibly so.

In fact, they’re tiny!

As part of an initiative to improve children’s understanding of the feelings of others, Action for Children Scotland is looking to recruit some ‘tiny teachers’.

An anti-bullying initiative called Roots to Empathy is being heralded in schools across the region for the first time – and babies play a vital part.

Janine Ryan, Children Services Manager at Action for Children Scotland, said: “We first brought Roots of Empathy to Scotland in 2010 when it was piloted in schools in North Lanarkshire.

“Since then we have found the programme to be very effective, with recent research revealing that 55.5 per cent of pupils display an increase in helping, sharing, co-operating, and volunteering after receiving the classes.”

Babies are brought into the classroom and children observe the ‘tiny teachers’ and how they interact with toys and songs.

Children are then encouraged to discuss how the babies react to different stimuli.

This helps pupils to describe and understand their own feelings and those of others, raising levels of empathy amongst classmates and encouraging more respectful relationships.

Ms Ryan continued: “We are very pleased to introduce Roots of Empathy to East Dunbartonshire and hope that local babies – and their parents – will lend us a helping hand.

“This is a great opportunity to learn about your baby’s development and celebrate all their tiny milestones, whilst making a real and lasting impact on children in your local community.

“If your baby was born in June, July or August this year please do get in touch – your little bundle of joy could be our next Tiny Teacher.”