"Miss Dr. Warecox," he says very seriously, managing to alter not only the title, but also my last name. Until this year, kids have always called me Miss Carol or Dr. Carol, but somehow at this school, it's been Dr. Wilcox all year. Actually it's been Dr. Warecox more often than not-- my principal's last name is Ware, my last name is Wilcox, the principal two years ago was Mr. Wera-- and the kids have, for whatever reason, just never quite gotten it straightened out.
"Do you know how to spell T--, ?" questions S, mentioning his third grade brother.
"I think so, buddy. What do you need it for?"
"Look," he says, taking my hand in his small chocolate one, and pulling me across the hall to the clipboard where students who stay for the after school program, sign in every morning. "T forgot to sign in, and I'm going to do it for him, but I just need to know how to spell his name."
I glance down at the sheet and see that S has already chosen a line and written Te on the right hand side of the box. S' three letter name fits nicely into the box, his brother's eight letter name, printed in S' five year old hand, not so much.
S grasps the pen tightly, and carefully writes his brother's name as I spell it, one or two letters at a time. He finishes, and I start to walk away.
"Wait, Miss Dr. Warecox," says S. "We gotta do it again." He gestures to another box on the form, and once again writes the Te, although this time he moves it a little more to the left. We go through the whole spelling ritual again. When he is finished, S lets out a big sigh of satisfaction at a job well done.
"OK," he says, "I did it. But now I gotta go find T. I have to tell him he forgot to sign his name but I did it for him."
He starts down the long hall to the cafeteria, then turns around. "Thank you, Miss Dr. Warecox. Thank you for helping me."