From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

February 13

The kindergarten teachers told me Benjamin wasn’t like other children; he didn’t like stories, he couldn’t sit still, and he didn’t have respect for other people’s property. It became my mission to help him relate to other children, feel safe and secure in school, and learn to read and write.

In time, most kids began to accept Benjamin, but no one besides me called him “friend.” He learned some social skills, but he wasn’t able to concentrate on learning. I sent him to second grade feeling like I failed him.

At the whole-school assembly on the first day of his third-grade year, Benjamin told me, “I’m goin’ to listen ’cause I wanna learn.” And incredibly, he did learn to read that year.

Because of Benjamin, I don’t think I’ll worry about students in the same way. Although I hadn’t taught him to read as I had hoped, somehow I had helped prepare him for learning. And I knew that Benjamin knew that.

Dori Courtney

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