I don't own this story. I just want to share this.
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.
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."
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."
grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest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."
now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she wasashamed of herself.
She felt even worse when her studentsbrought her Christmas presents,
wrapped in beautiful ribbonsand 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 middleof the
other presents. Some of the children started tolaugh when she found a
rhinestone bracelet with some of thestones missing and a bottle that was
one quarter full of perfume.She stifled the children's laughter when
she exclaimedhow pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing
someof the perfume on her wrist.
Teddy 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
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 the class and, despite her lie that she would love all
the children same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets."
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, second in his class, and she was still
the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.
after that, she got another letter, saying that whilethings 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. Stollard, M.D.
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.
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 Teddy
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."