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Lesson Plans


warm story

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
San D Hasselman (kprs)
Thu, 10 Jun 1999 22:36:34 -0400


A friend sent me 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 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 Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't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.
>>
>> 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
>> 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 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. :-)