老師的一堂課 A Teacher's Lesson  

Many years ago, Mrs. Thompson stood in front of her 5th grade class and told the children a lie that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, a little boy named Teddy Stoddard was so messy and inattentive in class that 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.
 
許多年前,湯普遜老師對著她五年級的學生們撒了一個謊:她說她會平等地愛每個孩子!但這是不可能的,因為前排就坐著泰迪‧史塔特--一個邋遢、上課不專心的小男孩,事實上,湯普遜老師很喜歡用粗紅筆在泰迪的考卷上畫大大的叉,然後在最上排寫個不及格!
 
One day, as Mrs. Thompson was reviewing each child's past records, she was surprised by comments of Teddy's former teachers:

某一天,湯普遜老師檢視每個學生以前的學習紀錄表,她意外地發現泰迪之前的老師給的評語十分驚人:

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

一年級老師寫道:「泰迪是個聰明的孩子,永遠面帶笑容,他的作業很整潔、很有禮貌,他讓周遭的人很快樂!」
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."
 
二年級老師說:「泰迪很優秀,很受同學歡迎,但他的母親罹患了絕症,他很擔心,家裡生活一定不好過!」
 
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."
 
三年級老師:「母親過世泰迪一定不好過,他很努力表現但父親總不在意,若再沒有改善,他的家庭生活將嚴重打擊泰迪。」
 
Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school.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."
 
四年級老師:「泰迪開始退縮,對課業提不起興趣,沒有什麼朋友,有時會在課堂上睡覺。」
 
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.
 
直到現在,湯普遜老師才了解泰迪的困難,而深感羞愧,而當她收到泰迪送的聖誕禮物—別人的禮物用緞帶及包裝紙裝飾的漂漂亮亮,泰迪送的禮物卻是用雜貨店的牛皮紙袋捆起來─湯普遜老師更覺得難過,
 
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.
 
湯普遜老師忍著心酸,當著全班的面拆開泰迪的禮物,有的孩子開始嘲笑泰迪送的聖誕禮物:一條假鑽手環,上面還缺了幾顆寶石,另外是一罐只剩四分之一的香水。但是湯普遜老師不但驚呼漂亮,還帶上手環,並噴了一些香水在手腕上,其他小朋友全都愣住了。
 
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.
 
放學後泰迪‧史塔特留下來對湯普遜老師說:「老師,妳今天聞起來好像我媽咪喔!」一等泰迪回家,湯普遜老師整整哭了一個小時,就在那一天,湯普遜老師不再教「書」:不教閱讀、不教寫作、不教數學,相反地,她開始「教育孩童」!
 
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 her "teacher's pets."
 
湯普遜老師開始特別關注泰迪,而泰迪的心似乎重新活了過來,湯普遜老師越鼓勵泰迪,泰迪的反應越快,到了學年尾聲,泰迪已經成為班上最聰明的孩子之一。雖然湯普遜老師說過她會平等地愛每一個孩子,但泰迪卻是她最喜歡的學生。
 
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.
 
一年後,湯普遜老師在門邊發現一張紙條,是泰迪寫來的,上面說湯普遜老師是他一生遇到最棒的老師!六年過去了,湯普遜老師又發現另一張泰迪寫的紙條,泰迪已經高中畢業,成績全班第三名,而湯普遜老師仍是他一生遇到最棒的老師!
 
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.
 
四年後,湯普遜老師又收到一封信,泰迪說有時候學校生活並不順利,但他仍堅持下去,而不久的將來他將獲得榮譽學位畢業!他再一次告訴湯普遜老師,她仍是他這一輩子遇到最棒的老師!
 
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.
 
四年過去,又來了一封信。信裡面告訴湯普遜老師,泰迪大學畢業後決定繼續攻讀更高學位,他也不忘再說一次,湯普遜老師還是他這一生遇到最棒的老師,而這封信的結尾多了幾個字:「泰迪‧史塔特博士。」
 
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.
 
故事還沒結束呢!你瞧!該年春天又來了一封信,泰迪說他遇到生命中的女孩,馬上要結婚了,泰迪解釋說他的父親幾年前過世了,他希望湯普遜老師可以參加他的婚禮並坐上屬於新郎「母親」的位置,湯普遜老師完成了泰迪的心願。但你知道嗎?湯普遜老師竟然戴著當年泰迪送的假鑽手環,還噴了同一瓶香水,是泰迪母親過世前的最後一個聖誕節用過的香水。
 
They hugged each, 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."
 
他們互相擁抱,史塔特博士悄悄在耳邊告訴湯普遜老師:「湯普遜老師,謝謝妳相信我,謝謝妳讓我覺得自己很重要,讓我相信我有能力去改變(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."
 
湯普遜老師熱淚滿盈,告訴泰迪:「泰迪,你錯了!是你教導我、讓我相信我有能力去改變,一直到遇見你,我才知道該怎麼教書!」
 

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