He asked me to sit with him even though he was capable of doing the work independently. I complied because I'm a sucker. And because I could tell he needed a little attention. This usually behaviorally challenged child really just wanted to do a good job and get his work done. I sat next to him and did my best not to think about the loads of work piling up on my desk. Instead I praised him on his careful writing, on his kind way of asking for help and on his smart answers to the questions on the sheet. He glowed. He ate it up.
The recess bell rang just as he was finishing. He jumped up and ran for the door but then stopped, turned around and said, "Thank you!"
Kids say those words to me all the time. Most of them are well mannered and polite. But this kid really meant it. I glowed. I ate it up.