Caussey's Corner

The Best Teacher I Ever Had: How One Teacher Changed a Student’s Life

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Sometimes all teachers ask themselves this question: does what I do really make a difference? Many times I’ve wondered if I should remain in the classroom or develop another vocation. Making more money lends itself to more prestige and possibly more appreciation. When I tell people that I’m a teacher for children with special needs, they always tell me what a wonderful thing that must be. If only the phone and utility companies, or my landlord, would appreciate teachers more. When I get to feeling really sorry for myself, I recall a story about a Mrs. Thompson who was also a teacher. Although the story is old, I thought you might like to hear it. If you’re feeling a bit of despair, drew inspiration from the story of the best teacher one student ever had.

There was a 5th-grade teacher named Mrs. Thompson. On the first day of school, she would stand at the door of her class and tell each student that she loved each and every one of them the same. But that was impossible because each student was different, and she liked some students more than others. One student, in particular, she disliked terribly.

The Best Teacher I Ever Had: How One Teacher Changed a Student's Life

Photo: pxhere

His name was Teddy Stoddard, and he sat on the front row, slumped in his chair, rarely looking at or speaking to the teacher. Mrs. Thompson noticed that Teddy didn’t get along well with the other kids. His clothes were messy, and he always seemed to need a bath. Mrs. Thompson actually enjoyed taking a big, red marking pencil and writing a giant “F” on each of the papers that Teddy turned in.

At the school where she taught, Mrs. Thompson was required to review each new pupil’s record. Several weeks passed and she decided to look at Teddy’s past record. She was so surprised when she reviewed his file.

Teddy’s first-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is such a loving and bright child. He does his work and has the best of manners. He is such a joy to be around.” His second-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student, well-liked by his classmates, but because of his terminally ill mother, he has withdrawn some.” His third-grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has left Teddy filled with a sense of loneliness. Life at home must be a struggle for him.”

Teddy’s fourth-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and has lost all interest in the class. I’m told his father’s drinking has increased as well. This boy has no friends and seems to want to be left alone. He has begun to sleep in class.”

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