Her name was Mrs Thompson. As she stood in front of her fifth grade class, that first day of school, she told the children a lie!
Like most teachers, she told the children that "she loved them.....all"
But, she told a lie, because....there....sitting in the front row was Teddy Stoddard.
She had watched him, and noticed that he did not play much, his clothes were messy and he needed a bath. And, he could be unpleasant!
It got so, she actually enjoyed marking his papers with a big "F" at the top of his papers.
At the school where she taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she got a surprise when she saw Teddy's.
His first grade teacher wrote, " Teddy is a joy to have and he's a bright child with a ready laugh..."
His second grade teacher wrote..." Teddy is an excellent student, well liked, but he's worried about his mother's sickness, life at home must be a struggle for him..."
His third grade teacher wrote..." His mother's death has been so hard for him, he tries his best, but his father doesn't take much interest. His home life will be affected if steps are not taken...."
His fourth grade teacher wrote..." Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school, he doesn't have many friends and sometimes falls asleep in class..."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, beautifully wrapped in paper and ribbons, except for Teddy's. His present was in brown paper.
She made a point of opening it, in the middle of opening all the other presents, but some of the children started to laugh, when she found a rhinestone bracelet, some stones missing, and a half empty bottle of perfume.
But, she stopped the children from laughing and wore the bracelet and dabbed the perfume on!
Teddy stayed after school just long enough to tell her, "Today....you smell just like my mum used to..."
When the children all left, she cried for at least an hour.
From then on, she stopped teaching the three "R's" and started teaching "children" instead.
She paid special attention to Teddy!
As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive! The more she encouraged him.....the more 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, she was still the best teacher he had 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 at school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest honours.
He assured her she was still the best teacher he had ever had in his whole life!
Then four more years passed and another letter came. He explained that, after he got his degree, he decided to go a little further and the letter explained that she was still the best teacher he had ever had.
By now, his name was a little longer, the letter was signed.. Theodore F Stoddard. M.D.
It does not end there......... There was yet another letter that spring.
Teddy said that he had met a girl and he was going to be married!
He said his dad had died the year before and would Mrs Thompson maybe sit in the place usually reserved for the mother of the groom?
Of course Mrs Thompson agreed.....and guess what?
She wore the bracelet he'd given her and made sure she was wearing the perfume he'd given her as well.
They hugged each other and Dr Stoddard whispered to her..."Thank you 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..." Teddy...you have it all wrong....You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference....I did not know how to teach....until I met you!"