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Lesson Plans


Re: The "Burbs" vs. Urban

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
lindacharlie (lindacharlie)
Mon, 21 Dec 1998 16:22:04 -0500


Well, Jill, I can't say it any better than your other friends. I agree
with everyone who's urged you to go for it. What you've already given is
more than most of us would have done! If you feel even a hint of guilt
over a decision to leave, read the following (long) tearjerker and know
that you can find at least one of these kids in any school in the land.
You just have a better chance of affecting them when there aren't so
many!

Peace,
Linda in Michigan where it is 40 and rainy and that snapdragon is still
hanging in!

************

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Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't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 which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown
paper that he got from a grocery bag. 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 perfume. 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. 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 ~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~ Pass it along.