A friend and teacher in Columbus, OH shared this simple story of how one of her students brings compassion to every day.
One of my students likes to come to my classroom during his lunch period, to be briefed on what we're going to be doing that day (the very next period). He starts working right away, on his own, and occasionally asks me questions, but, he usually just works silently. I used to try to talk to him, to see if he was struggling with the material, or was perhaps struggling in other areas of life/school, but, that wasn't it; he never wanted to talk about anything. I couldn't quite figure him out.
But, then I began to notice how he really came alive when the bell rang, and the other kids began trickling into the room. He immediately engaged with them. "This is what we're going to be doing today..." he'd say, and, "It's like yesterday, but, this part is new here..." He was teaching them; he liked to teach them.
Today was different. He got his notebook out as usual, asked for the assignment as usual, but, then he went back to the bin of notebooks, and started taking other notebooks out. I assumed something had fallen out of his notebook and into the bin, and he was looking for it. "Did you lose something?" I asked. "Oh. No. I was just going to put everyone's notebook on their desk, so, they could have it right when they walked in." And so he did. He'd memorized the seating chart, knew where all of the kids sat, and put their notebooks out for them. Then, he sat there, practically giddy, waiting for them to come in to see it. He was never just teaching them; he was taking care of them.