28, Aug 2007 14:58
"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," wrote Teddy's first grade teacher.
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Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show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
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
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
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, 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."
我，謝謝妳讓我覺得自己很重要，讓我相信我有能力去改變(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."