A class of Grade 4 students at George Webster Elementary watch eight-month-old Patrick, who sits on a green blanket in the middle of their circle.
His tiny white shirt says “teacher” and it’s no joke.
Patrick is a teacher with Roots of Empathy, which began in Toronto in 1996, and pairs volunteer parents and their young children with classrooms. It’s more than a preventive bullying program, according to founder Mary Gordon. Through learning about a baby, elementary school students become more empathetic, reducing bullying and aggression, she says.