I taught full time for fifteen years and am now subbing so that I can finish my novel. I don't have all the answers. None of us do. In fact, even if something works great for me, there is no guarantee it will work for you.
I hope that we will give each other suggestions. I went to all the trainings I could get my principal to approve when I taught full-time. I talked to a lot of teachers. AND I just kept trying things until I found something that worked FOR ME. We can not go against our own nature. Kids can sense that and will test us.
So, don't give up. Keep on trying new things and always know that there is a place to go where you can be anonymous and speak freely.
Best of Luck to all of you. Our children deserve the best that we can offer.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Teacher's Love


As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very
first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like
most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she
loved them all the same. However, that was impossible,
because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a
little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed
that he did not play well with the other children, that his
clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In
addition, Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point
where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking
his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and
then putting a big 'F' at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required
to review each child's past records and she put
Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his
file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is a
bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and
has good manners... he is a joy to be

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

Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is
withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He
doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in

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 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, 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 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 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 had 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, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet
another letter that spring. Teddy said he had 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 at the wedding in the place 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. Moreover, 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

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.'

(For you that don't know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr at
Iowa Methodist in Des Moines that has the
Stoddard Cancer Wing.)

Warm someone's heart today. . . pass this along.. I
love this story so very much, I cry every time I read it.
Just try to make a difference in someone's life today?
tomorrow? just 'do it'.

Random acts of kindness, I think they call it!

'Believe in Angels, then
return the favor.

Coach Sherrie says: Most students never come back to tell
us the influence we've had on them, but every student has
a story like this, EVEN the ones who didn't go on to become
someone rich and famous.