I find myself quite empathic. Not in the Star Trek mind reading way of Deanna Troi, but as in, I can empathize with people and what they are going through. Whenever I teach something, I think about what it was like when I learned it, how my teacher did it, and how it felt. I think about what was bad about it and what was good about it, in the sense that, perhaps my teacher was a bad teacher and I would have learned something better if they had of done it a certain way.
But I also listen to them when they tell me something that doesn't really relate to our lesson. I am interested in knowing them. I am interested in learning about what their skills are and fears, dreams and desires. It helps me to modify or make small changes to the standard curriculum that would best suit them personally. If someone tells me they are afraid of heights, then I will probably work that in somewhere, somehow, to help them overcome it.
I also have a couple degrees in counseling, so I find that helps and I can apply those techniques to assist when needed. In many cases, I find I will usually go beyond what might be required of me, to help them achieve their goals, even something small like lending them something, or compensating them for something they lent me.
I'm not trying to sound like I'm bragging. If you are a student of mine and you are reading this, I want you to know that I am here for you. If you called me in the middle of the night with a serious problem, there is a pretty good chance that I will get up and listen. If it's serious, I will probably come see you. If you need a place to stay, within reason, I will probably give you my couche. Just don't abuse it like some have (you know who you are). :) If you ask for my assistance and I can't, just know that there must be something more pressing asking for my time (you know who you are too). Don't be offended if I can't, but 95% of the time, I can.
We are all on this crazy boat ride together. Don't rock it. Help each other bail out the water. Stop people that want to jump out. Love.