As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, like most Teachers, she looked at her Students and said that she cared about them they were all special to her.
However she knew that was not quiet right, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other Children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be very unpleasant.
It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would make a big show of marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big ‘F’ at the top of his papers, she was also a little short with him in front of the class, this made her feel uneasy but he was such a difficult Child.
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 very surprised.
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Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, ‘Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in School.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 he 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 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 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, 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, although she had once found him very hard to accept he became very close to her heart.
A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was 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 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 honours. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favourite Teacher he had 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 and become a Doctor. The letter explained that she was still the best and favourite Teacher he ever had.
The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had 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 at the Wedding in the place 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. Moreover, 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.’
.Did this Story warm your heart as it did mine… Is it a True Story in some ways … How many of us can recall a Teacher who believed in us.
My story is different…with being Dyslectic when not much was known about this disability was very hard for me, I could not read or write or tell the time at 12 years of age and most had given up on me, but there was a Teacher in High School who believed in me and encouraged me to excel.
Two years later I came first in Home Economics much to the amazement of everyone accept my Teacher and this inspired me to try harder with my other subjects instead of being inattentive in class.
In my 3rd year final end of year exams I came first in nearly all the subjects and Dux in English in the Year with provision for Spelling, overall I was Second in the Year, my inability to do Maths letting me down. I received a reward but nothing could equal the feeling of being a someone who was worth the effort.
I Thank the Lord today for this Teacher and her patience and her belief in me as a person of worth and for The Lord who motivated her to take an interest in a very difficult Student and not give up.
My Mum like my Teacher was great too… many long hours of listening to me read and even though the budget was tight at the time Mum still sent me for Elocution lessons to help me speak clearly. Do you know … I’m also told I’m a good Cook, thanks to my Mum and my Home Economics Teacher.
Does all this mean I am no longer Dyslectic … No but I now thank the Lord for it, because you see with every Disability is a blessing, such is our Loving God’s Provision…
How very Blessed I am! – Annie