She proceeded to write the word compassion on the chalkboard, trying not to make the chalk squeak.
Some of the children narrowed their eyes and it was clear to Zoe they could not read. Even the pompous boy with glasses was silent. He crossed his arms in front of his chest and looked defiant.
“This is pronounced ‘kuhm—pash—uhn,’” Zoe explained, sounding out each syllable.
“What’s that?” said a little girl in pigtails.
“It’s a synonym for love,” Zoe explained.
A small child in footed pajamas, who was no older than four shouted out, “What’s love?” The child beside him shouted too. “What’s a cinnamon?”
Zoe smiled down at the little one.
“Treating others how you would like to be treated.”
“I knew that!” yelled the self-proclaimed smart kid.