Saturday will go, Sunday will go, on Monday will come and you’ll go back to the class. And like this, this teacher by name Mrs. Thompson entered the class for the first time. And she had this habit of starting her class by saying love you all. But she knew she was lying, because she could not feel that love for one of the students in the class who was very unkempt, untidy. And there was nothing in the child that drew attention from Mrs. Thompson. She was little indifferent to the child. She picked them for every negative example and ignore them for all the positive reasons.
That year – she had written the progress the report for the first quarter. And it was a system in the school that the Headmistress have to counter sign every progress report. The Headmistress called for Mrs. Thompson and told Mrs. Thompson; a progress report should report some progress. It should make a parent feel my child has a future. The way you have written the progress report for “Teddy” that is how he was called. The way you’ve written the progress report for “Teddy”, parents will give up on “Teddy”.
Mrs. Thompson immediately said, there’s nothing I can do. I have nothing positive to write about the child. Immediately the Headmistress asked the administrative staff of the school to trace the old year progress reports of “Teddy” and send it across to Mrs. Thompson’s class. Mrs. Thompson saw the third standard progress report and it was written the final remarks. “Teddy” is the brightest child in the class. She was stunned by what she read. She saw the fourth standard progress report, and progressively all the remarks suggested that “Teddy’s” mother was suffering from terminal cancer.
She is not able to give the attention she used to give to “Teddy” and it’s just beginning to show-up on the performance of “Teddy”. The fifth standard progress report read. “Teddy” had lost his mother and along with that himself, he desperately needs help otherwise we will lose this child. By then there were tears in the eyes of Mrs. Thompson. She looked at the principal and said I know what to do and she went back to the class. Probably it was a Monday morning. She walked into the class and again from the dais of the class, looked at the class and said love you all, but she knew she was lying.
The love she was feeling for “Teddy” right now was far, far greater than the rest of the class. She decided that she is going to change her approach, for every positive reason “Teddy’s” name was called. There was no more a negative reference to the whole thing. The last day of the school came. All the children had brought some gifts for the teacher. There was only one gift which was wrapped up in a old newspaper. Somehow the sense of a teacher she could knew that it must be from “Teddy”. She opened that first. A half-used perfume bottle and a bracelet from which a few stones had already fallen was there.
The whole class laughs knowing it was from “Teddy”. But without saying anything, Mrs. Thompson just took that half use perfume bottle spread it on her, wore that bracelet. With a quarter smile it seems “Teddy” told, now you’re smelling like my mother. This is the last perfume that she used before she left me. And this is what was removed from her body before she was taken into the coffin. One year later end of the school, end of the year, there was a letter on Mrs. Thompson’s table.
I have seen few more teachers but you’re still the best teacher I’ve ever seen with love “Teddy”. Every year till the end of the year, Mrs. Thompson used to get this letter from “Teddy”. I’ve seen few more teachers but you’re the best teacher I’ve ever seen, “Teddy”. Years rolled by, they lost contact. Somewhere an agent traced Mrs. Thompson, who had retired by now and handed over a letter and the letter was signed Dr. Theodore, PhD, “Teddy” had gone on to become a PhD, and the letter read. I’ve seen many more people in life, Mrs. Thompson, this is your “Teddy”.
You’re still the best teacher I’ve ever seen. I’m getting married and I cannot dream of getting married without your presence. Along with that enclosed, were to and fro flight tickets. Mrs. Thompson couldn’t resist. She no more had the perfume bottle, but she still preserved the bracelet. She wore that and went to the church. She was trying to sit in the last row, but volunteers identified and ushered her right to the front row. And right in the front row, there was a seat with a placard written, mother.
Theodore personally asked Mrs. Thompson to sit in the chair and whisper you are the closest to my mother that I’ve ever experienced and whatever I am today it’s because of you, Mam. The wedding happened and after the wedding, Theodore introduce Mrs. Thompson to his newly wedded wife. Without her I wouldn’t be where I am today. There were tears in Theodore’s eyes. It seems Mrs. Thompson told the newly wedded woman without “Teddy” I would I’ve never realized a teacher first must first be a mother to every student of hers and only then a teacher.
This is just my request to all of you. There is a “Teddy” sitting in your class. When you go back to yours classroom on Monday morning, there is a “Teddy” in that class and you can be that Mrs. Thompson. Please on Monday. Don’t go back to the institute as a teacher. Go back as a parent who can also be a teacher and be a turning point in the life of those children. You plus me. I believe we can build a new world.