In timp ce se afla in fata copiilor din clasa a 5-a, Doamna Thompson, in prima zi de scoala, le-a spus un neadevar. Ca majoritatea profesorilor, le-a spus elevilor sai ca ii iubeste pe toti la fel de mult.
Totusi, acest lucru nu era posibil, deoarece in primul rand, cufundat in banca sa, era baietelul numit Teddy Stallard.
Doamna Thompson il urmarise pe Teddy in anul precedent si observase ca acesta nu se juca cu ceilalti copii, hainele sale erau neingrijite si era murdar mai tot timpul.
Si Teddy putea fi nesuferit. Se ajunsese pana acolo incat Doamnei Thompson ii facea placere sa scrie pe lucrarile acestuia, cu un creion gros si rosu, un X mare si ingrosat si sa ii dea nota 4.
La scoala la care preda doamna Thompson, trebuia sa revizuiasca toate caracterizarile elevilor, iar pe Teddy il lasase intentionat la urma. Totusi, cand a deschis dosarul acestuia, a ramas surprinsa sa vada ca profesoara din primul an scrisese „Teddy e un copil istet, isi face temele cu grija, este manierat si este o placere sa fii in prajma lui”.
Profesoara din clasa a 2-a scrisese „Teddy este un elev excelent, apreciat de colegii sai, dar este tulburat de faptul ca mama sa sufera de o boala incurabila, iar viata de acasa trebuie sa fie foarte grea”
Profesoara din clasa a 3-a scrisese „Moartea mamei sale il afectase foarte mult. Se straduieste foarte mult, dar pe tatal sau nu il prea intereseaza, iar climatul de acasa il va afecta in curand, daca nu se va schimba ceva”
Profesoara dintr-a 4-a a scris „Teddy este retras si nu mai este interesat de scoala. Nu are multi prieteni si uneori adoarme in timpul orei”
De-acum, doamna Thompson intelesese problema si i-a fost rusine de ce facuse. S-a simtit si mai prost cand elevii ei i-au adus cadouri de Craciun, legate cu panglici frumoase si impachetate in hartie stralucitoare. Mai putin Teddy.
Cadoul acestuia era impachetat cu hartie obisnuita de culoare maro. Doamnei Thompson i-a fost greu sa il deschida in fata celorlalti. Unii dintre elevi au inceput sa rada cand a descoperit o bratara careia ii lipseau unele pietre si o sticluta de parfum pe trei sferturi goala.. Ea i-a certat cand a observat ca bratara era draguta si parfumul mirosea frumos. Teddy Stallard a ramas dupa ore in acea zi doar pentru a-i spune „Doamna Thompson, astazi mirosi exact ca si mama”.
Dupa ce copiii au plecat, a plans timp de aproape o ora. In acea zi, a incetat sa mai predea citirea, scrierea si aritmetica si a inceput sa ii invete pe elevi.
Doamna Thompson i-a acordat o atentie deosebita lui Teddy. Pe masura ce lucra cu el, mintea sa a inceput sa isi revina. Cu cat il incuraja mai des, cu atat acesta reactiona mai bine. Pana la sfarsitul anului, Teddy ajunsese cel mai istet elev din casa, si, in ciuda promisiunii ca ii va iubi pe toti la fel, Teddy a devenit alintatul sau.
Un an mai tarziu, a gasit o scrisoare de la Teddy in care ii spunea ca e cea mai buna profesoara pe care o avusese vreodata.
Au mai trecut inca sase ani pana a mai primit un semn de la Teddy. Apoi el i-a scris ca terminase liceul al treilea in clasa, si ca ea ramasese cea mai buna profesoara pe care o avuse.
Patru ani mai tarziu, a mai primit o scrisoare care spunea ca va termina in curand si facultatea cu cele mai bune rezultate. Inca o data o asigura pe doamna Thompson ca fusese cea mai buna profesoara.
Apoi au mai trecut inca patru ani si a mai venit o scrisoare, cu acelasi mesaj, dar numele expeditorului era schimbat: Dr. Theodore Stallard.
Apoi o noua scrisoare in care o anunta ca se va casatori.
Ii spunea ca tatal sau a murit cu cativa ani in urma si o intreba daca ar vrea sa participe la nunta si sa stea in locul in care sta de obicei mama mirelui. Bineinteles ca a acceptat. Si a purtat bratara careia ii lipseau unele pietre si a folosit acelasi parfum pe care il primise demult de la Teddy.
S-au imbratisat, iar Teddy i-a soptit la ureche „Multumesc pentru ca ai crezut in mine. Multumesc pentru ca m-ai facut sa ma simt important si mi-ai aratat ca pot insemna ceva.”
Doamna Thompson i-a soptit cu lacrimi in ochi „Teddy, ai inteles gresit. Tu esti cel care m-a invatat ca pot schimba ceva. Nu am stiut cum sa predau elevilor pana te-am intalnit pe tine.”
Nu poti niciodata sa stii cum poti influenta viata altora prin ceea ce faci sau prin ceea ce nu faci. Tine seama de acest lucru in aventura ta prin viata si incearca sa schimbi ceva in viata celorlalti (si ar fi ideal daca ar fi in bine).
Si nu uita!:
Nimeni nu are dreptul sa priveasca o alta persoana de sus, decat in momentul in care se apleaca si ii intinde o mana pentru a-l ajuta sa se ridice!
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 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 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 her wrist.
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 of 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 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. 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 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. 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.”