Teddy Stoddard stayed back after school
that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson,
today you smelled just like my Mom used to."
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 of her "teacher's pets."
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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, was 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 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. However now his name was a little longer - the letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.
The story doesn't end there. There was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going to get married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson would agree to sit in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom at the wedding. Naturally, Mrs. Thompson did. Guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. She also made sure that she wore the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.
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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, "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."
A Teacher's Lesson Part 1 | 2
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