Saturday, June 25, 2011

Teachers Subject: Mrs. Thompson

   There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher.
   Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of
   her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told
   the children a lie.  Like most teachers, she looked at her
   students and said that she loved them all the same. But that
   was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in
   his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

   Mrs.Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and
   noticed that he didn't play well with the other children, that his
   clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath.
   And Teddy could be unpleasant.  It got to the point where
   Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his
   papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting
   a big "F" at the top of his papers.

   At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required
   to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off
   until last.  However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for
   a surprise.

   Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with
   a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good
   manners...he is a joy to be around."

   His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent
   student, well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled
   because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home
   must be a struggle."

   His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been
   hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn't
   show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if
   some steps aren't taken."

   Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and
   doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many
   friends and sometimes sleeps in class."

   By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was
   ashamed of  herself. She felt even worse when her students
   brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons
   and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was
   clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from
   a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the
   middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to
   laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the
   stones missing and a bottle that was one quarter full of

   But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed
   how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some
   of the perfume on her wrist.

tube enfant

   Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough
   to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my
   Mom used to."

   After the children left she cried for at least an hour. On that
   very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and
   arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs.
   Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked
   with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she
   encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the
   year, Teddy had become one of  the smartest children in the
   class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children
   the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets."

   A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy,
   telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in
   his whole life.

   Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy.
   He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his
   class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his
   whole life.

   Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while
   things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had
   stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the
   highest of honors.  He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was
   still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.

   Then four more years passed and yet another letter came.
   This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree,
   he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she
   was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now
   his name was a little longer. The letter was signed,
   Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

   The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another
   letter that spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going
   to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple
   of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might
   agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually
   reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs.
   Thompson did. And guess what?

   She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones
   missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume
   that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last
   Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr.
   Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you,
   Mrs. Thompson, for believing in me. Thank you so much for
   making me feel important and showing me that I could make
   a difference."

   Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She
   said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who
   taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to
   teach until I met you."

    Warm someone's heart today....

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