My fifth grade son, this semester, was assigned to the restrooms for his cleaning duties at school.
That day when I picked him up for school, the moment he’d gotten into the car, he’s mysteriously told me, “Mom, guess what important duties I have from my class today?”
I answered, “I can’t know, just give me the answer already.”
He’d excitedly stated, “I’m the cleaning official of my class, responsible for cleaning up the toilets.”
I’d asked him, “Did your teacher assign this duty to you?”, he’d replied, “No, I’d put myself up for it.”
I’d taken the advantage and asked him, “How, did you think about cleaning the toilets?”
“Because as I was younger in the school, the restrooms are so dirty, causing me to be afraid to go to the toilets in school, so I could only hold it in, and so, I’d thought, if one day, my class was assigned to clean the toilets, I am going to clean it up so, so no other student feel like I had. The teacher told me, that grades aren’t everything, that I must be a student with good characters.”
Then, I’d heard my son told me on and on, “I’d stood at the entry of the bathrooms, reminding the students, to keep the bathrooms tidy, if someone disobeys the rules, I’d tell the teacher too.”
On the day of the parent-teacher conference, my son had even invited me, to “share” his “glory”, he didn’t let anybody down, the instructor also kept commending him on how mature and well-behaved he was. At the end of the semester, my son received the award for “the Star of Moral Standards”.
In the age where everybody is pursuing high grades, actually, education of character is even MORE important.
So, this child had the empathy, because he once had the experiences of unable to use the toilets at his school because of how unclean it was, now that it’s his turn to help clean up the toilets, he didn’t want anybody to go through what he did as he was younger, and, this, is an amazing thing, that this fifth grade boy can use empathy, to keep up with the responsibilities of his cleaning duties.