Our empathy for one another is at the heart of what we can do together. We are limited by our own capacity to understand the person sitting across from us, and it shows in the classrooms and schools that do it best.
I really like how you are asking yourself and others to take a step back and try to learn more about the context for those you serve. However, I think the modeling going on in those moments might be even more important than the act itself. You are showing everyone what it is like to engage in the process of listening and empathizing. You are showing the value of not hiding our diverse backgrounds, but rather being able to talk about them and support from all sides.
While empathy is important to ensure your kids are safe and well cared for, it is also important for those who get those things from their home life. For those that already have meals at home and time with a parent to troubleshoot math problems, they need to see why and how empathy can change a school.
P.S. This comment is a part of the #C4C15
project. Find out more here: http://learningischange.com/blog/2014/12/27/c4c15/