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.
's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh.
work neatly and has good manners... he
is a joy to be around..
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.
third grade teacher wrote, "His
mother's death has been hard on him.
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.
's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school.
doesn't have many friends and he
sometimes sleeps in class."
stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs.
Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy
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
The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard
The story does not end there.
You see, there was yet another letter that spring.
had met this girl and was going to be married.
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.
, 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.
Teddy Stoddard is a noteworthy physician at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Stoddard Cancer Wing is named in his