Most days that I am in the classroom, I identify at least one student who can benefit from a little bit of extra attention. My role as an educator is to dedicate my time to each of my students and I do everything in my power to do so. But with a class of 14 special education students, spending considerable time with each child is more difficult than usual.
Friday was no exception. My student was a young man, probably five or six, who was well-groomed and unusually polite. In comparison to some of the students who were yelling for no reason and kicking fellow students, he was a tremendous relief.
Somewhere in the middle of the day, I took a moment to tell him that he was special. As of that moment, he never left my side. He dragged a chair next to my desk and asked me to assist him in every project that we had. When we went to recess, he repeatedly asked me to watch him perform some act of agility or expertise. And most significantly, he asked to use my special purple pen, probably because it was mine and allowed him to have one more form of proximity to him.
If I made one extraordinary student feel empowered or extraordinary or simply happy for one day, I am elated. He confirmed my profession and my commitment. Based on the hugs and appreciation I received from other students in the class, I did not sacrifice their status by singling out my one young man.
It is unusual to find someone who does not relish the feeling of being considered special. Because this is easier to accomplish in the context of a classroom, I utilize every opportunity to bestow the special status as often as possible. And so it goes for the rest of us. When we make our loved ones, our clients, our friends, and our neighbors feel that they have improved our lives in large and small ways, we create magic, both for ourselves and others. If you are at all like me, you can never have too much magic. Shalom.