I love this quote. I actually heard it in context of a marriage relationship, but the teacher in me immediately thought of it in the context of a classroom. I think it can be applied in any relationship situation in life.
It's beautiful and truthful. It cuts through to the heart of the problem and exposes us for who we are. Then it provides the solution, carefully and gently- encourage. Just like your students LONG for you to be with them.
It's easy to get caught up in the pressure of teaching at any time of the year, but for some, we're coming up on the big testing season. We're cranking out every bit of practice we can get in reviewing the standards.
THIS YEAR, and every one after, instead of focusing on the test with a worrisome energy, why not focus on your students and individuals and work on encouraging them way more than you normally do? It says "encourage me and I may not forget you". I know it's true that when I encourage my daughter in her learning endeavors, when I praise her, I spur her forward and she jumps with leaps and bounds into the content, the skill; her eyes twinkle and she is inspired to hang on to and to cherish what we're learning.
What if you focus on encouraging during test practice and review? I think what will happen is success, confidence that will lead to success and the push they just need to do better. You've done well all year and now it's time for your students to show it. Push the encouragement button.