Roots of Empathy 

changing the world, child by child

Become an Instructor

Become a Roots FAmily

Become a Roots School

Become a Roots of Empathy Instructor

Would you like to help foster social and emotional competence in children in your community? Interested in guiding children as they learn about others’ feelings and develops empathy so they can build the world that they deserve?

The Instructor is an integral part of the Roots of Empathy program, visiting the classroom before and after each family visit and facilitating the interaction between the students and the infant/parent. Instructors coach students to observe the baby’s development and to label the baby’s feelings. In this experiential learning, the baby is the “Teacher” and a lever, which the Instructor uses to help children identify and reflect on their own feelings and the feelings of others. This lays the foundation for safer and more caring classrooms, where children are the “Changers.”

Instructors set the tone in a Roots of Empathy classroom, creating a risk-free learning environment where children can share their thoughts and feelings without judgment.

To learn more about becoming a Roots of Empathy Instructor in Lane County, contact 90by30 Associate Director Sara Loveless at

1st and 2nd grade classrooms

children impacted in lane county

classroom visits over the course of one school year

Help Children Thrive

Would you like to help foster social and emotional competence in children in your community? Hear what Roots of Empathy Instructors have to say about their experiences with the program.

“Why I love being an instructor”

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an Instructor do?

Roots of Empathy Instructors:

  • Are members of the community with diverse professional and personal backgrounds, including, but not limited to: non-teaching school staff and retired teachers, health care, early childhood education, social work, guidance counseling, speech therapy and recreation, and policing
  • Receive certification through the Roots of Empathy training program
  • Deliver all aspects of the Roots of Empathy curriculum
  • Work closely with volunteer families, schools, and teachers outside and inside the classroom
  • Visit their classroom 27 times throughout the school year

What training is provided?

Roots of Empathy provides a comprehensive, four day training with a certified trainer.

  • You receive a curriculum, classroom kit, story books, and all other materials you will need to deliver the program
  • You receive on-going guidance on best practices by Roots of Empathy Mentors, as well as professional development opportunities, ensuring you are qualified, confident and supported
  • Learn more here.

Overview of Classroom Visits

Pre-Family Visit

  • 9 visits total
  • Roots of Empathy Instructor without family
  • Each is 40 minutes in length
  • Focus on infant development and preparation for Family Visit
  • Students predict what changes they may see in the baby’s development at the Family Visit

Family Visit

  • 9 visits total
  • Roots of Empathy Instructor, parent(s), and baby
  • Approximately 40 minutes in length
  • Roots of Empathy Instructor guides students’ observations of the baby’s feelings, intentions, and the attachment relationship
  • Roots of Empathy Instructor demonstrates the baby’s physical and emotional development and temperament, and interacts with the baby through music (i.e., singing songs) and early learning games (e.g., peek-a-boo).
  • Students ask parent(s) questions about the baby

Post-Family Visit

  • 9 visits total
  • Roots of Empathy Instructor without family
  • Each is 40 minutes in length
  • Students reflect on their own feelings and focus on understanding the feelings of others (empathy)
  • Children’s literature and art/writing are used to foster perspective-taking, the cognitive aspect of empathy