DiscoverRethinking Learning PodcastEmpathy as our Superpower with Naomi Toland (Podcast Episode #123)
Empathy as our Superpower with Naomi Toland (Podcast Episode #123)

Empathy as our Superpower with Naomi Toland (Podcast Episode #123)

Update: 2021-09-22



Naomi Toland has spent the last 6 years teaching in different countries and researching a variety of areas such as nutrition, neuroscience, and psychology through the lens of education which she shares on her Empathetic Educators platform. She believes these topics help us communicate, challenge ourselves, collaborate, and better understand ways to look after our wellbeing as well as supporting the wellbeing of others.  

Your Background

Naomi Toland is originally from Derry in Ireland but she hasn’t lived on the Emerald Isle for nearly 10 years. One of Naomi’s passions is traveling as she believes it challenges her perspectives on life and opens her eyes to how she and others see the world. Growing up in Ireland, Naomi spent every Summer traveling and exploring her beautiful homeland with her family and believes these experiences ignited her love of going on adventures off the beaten path to what the world has to offer.

Your Journey as a Teacher

I am one of those teachers who used to play school with my teddies and (politely) force my siblings to look at the blackboard and get them to practice their spellings. So, I would say teaching has always been in my bones.

When I left school I went straight to university to train in Early Primary Education, and I have loved teaching across the Primary sector from ages 1-13 years old in a variety of places.

Initially, I spent my first 3 years teaching in Hackney, London where I loved working with a multicultural community in an inner-city London school. I feel very grateful to have had this experience in my foundational years as a teacher, as it exposed me to the need for empathy, understanding, and connection. During this time, I took on the role of Arts Coordinator and feel this has had a huge impact on developing my interest in the importance of arts in the classroom. I was responsible for creating opportunities to support teachers and parents, helping them weave the arts curriculum into their lessons and home. This shifted my own mindset of what was and is possible to help to learn come to life.

Before moving to my next destination, I spent 3 months traveling and teaching in South America, at one point volunteering at a nature reserve in Costa Rica (Reserva Tortuga) where my partner and I would go on daily missions to look after a variety of animals. This included nightly patrols to preserve turtle eggs from poachers, teaching children about sustainability and safety, crocodile tagging, and snake walks. This was my first time in a country where I did not speak the language and loved learning from the people I met along the way! 

I spent the next 3 years teaching in Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand for me is a home away from home because of the fabulous people and beautiful nature I get to ...
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Empathy as our Superpower with Naomi Toland (Podcast Episode #123)

Empathy as our Superpower with Naomi Toland (Podcast Episode #123)

Barbara Bray