While she was in front of the children in the fifth grade, in the first day of school, Mrs Thompson told them an untruth. Like most of the teachers, she told her pupils that she loves all very much. However, this thing was not possible, because in the first place, immersed in his bank was the little boy named Teddy Stallard. Mrs Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play with the other children, his clothes were untidy and he was dirty almost all the time.
And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point that Mrs Thompson loved to write on his works, with a thick red pen, a big and bold X and to give him an F. At the school, Mrs Thompson had to review all the pupils characterizations and this time she left Teddy intentionally last.
However, when she reviewed his file she was very surprised to see that the first grade teacher wrote: “Teddy is a bright child, he makes his homework carefully, is mannered and it is a pleasure to be around him”. Second grade teacher wrote: “Teddy is an excellent pupil, appreciated by his collegues, but he is troubled by the fact that his mother is suffering by an incurable disease, and his life at home must be very hard.” The third grade teacher wrote: “The death of his mother had affected him greatly. He had struggled a lot, but his father is not interested in him, and the climate from home will affect him soon, unless something changes.” The fourth grade teacher wrote: “Teddy is withdrawn and not interested in school any longer. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes fall asleep during the classes.”
By now, Mrs Thomson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought Christmas presents, tied with beautiful ribbons and packed in bright paper. Less Teddy. His gift was packed with ordinary brown paper. Mrs. Thompson hardly opened it in front of the others. Some of the students started to laugh when she found a bracelet with some stones missing and a bottle one quarter full of perfume. She argued when observed that the bracelet was nice and the perfume smelled nice and beautiful. Teddy Stallard stayed after school that day just to say: “Mrs. Thompson, today you smell just like my Mom.”
After the children left, she cried for about an hour. On that day she ceased to teach reading, writing and arithmetic and began to teach students.
Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind began to recover. The more she encouraged him more often, the more he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest students in the class, and, despite her lie that she would love all the same, Teddy became her favourite student.
A year later, she found a letter from Teddy saying that she’s the best teacher he ever had. Another six years have passed until she got another note from Teddy. He wrote that he had finished third in the high school class, and she remained to him the best teacher he had ever met. Four years later, she received a letter saying he would end soon the university with the best results. Once again he assured Mrs. Thompson that she was the best teacher. Then four more years passed and another letter came with the same message but the sender’s name was changed: Dr. Theodore Stallard.
Then another letter that announces that he will marry.
He said that his father died a few years ago and asked if she wanted to attend the wedding and to stay in the place in which is typically the groom’s mother. Sure she did. And she wore the bracelet with some missing stones and used the same perfume that she long time ago received from Teddy. They hugged and Teddy whispered to her ear, “Thanks for believing in me. Thanks for making me feel important and showing me that I can mean something”.
Mrs. Thompson whispered with tears in her eyes “Teddy, you misunderstood. You’re the one who taught me that I can change something. I hadn’t known how to teach until I met you.
You can never know how life can influence others by what you do or by what you do not do. Keep this in mind in your journey through life and try to change something in the lives of others (and would be ideal if this would be in a good manner).
And do not forget!
Nobody has the right to look from high to another person, but when he bends and stretches a hand to help him to get up.