Mystery Teacher

    “Mystery Teacher,” Friend, Jan. 2001, 10


    Mystery Teacher

    I have teachers kind and true, and parents who love me (Children’s Songbook, page 230).

    Scott sat slumped over in the backseat of the car.

    “Are you feeling OK?” Mom asked.

    “Yeah, I guess so,” he moaned.

    But Scott wasn’t feeling well. In fact, he felt like he’d just been hit in the stomach. And it was all because of what Sister Thomas, the Primary president, had said during Primary that morning:

    “Children, next week is the beginning of a new year in Primary. That means you will all advance to the next class and have a new teacher. Isn’t that exciting?”

    Scott didn’t think so. He didn’t want a new teacher. He liked his old one just fine. She told the best stories, and she always smelled good. “Mom,” he said now, “I’m not going to Primary next week.”

    His parents looked at each other in surprise.

    “I thought you loved Primary, Son,” Dad said, keeping his eyes on the road.

    “I do! I—I mean, I did,” Scott said sadly.

    For family home evening, Dad gave a lesson about how changes are a part of life and how we should welcome them as opportunities for growth. Scott knew that his parents were trying to help, but he didn’t feel much like growing at the moment.

    It was easy not to think about Primary during school. And on Tuesday, Scott had violin lessons that kept him so busy practicing that he almost forgot about Primary completely—until Wednesday. That’s when he found a note taped to his front door. It was a small piece of white paper folded in half and with his name written carefully on the front. Scott unfolded it and read:

    Dear Scott,

    Welcome to our Primary class! I have been watching you each Sunday, and I know that you are a boy who is trying to live the gospel.

    I will send you a few clues about myself. Can you figure out who I am before Sunday?

    Your Mystery Primary Teacher

    P.S. I have black hair.

    Puzzled, Scott folded the note and stuffed it into his backpack.

    On Thursday, this note was on his door:

    Hi Scott!

    I saw you playing outside with your friends yesterday. I like the way you get along so well with them. That’s a good quality to have. Do you know who I am yet?

    Your Mystery Teacher

    P.S. I like to ride bikes, too!

    Who could it be? Scott wondered. He thought about the sisters in his ward. He couldn’t think of any black-haired, bike-riding ladies.

    Scott raced home from the bus stop on Friday. He was disappointed to not see a note taped to the front door. He dumped his backpack in the hallway and went into the kitchen for a snack.

    “It must have blown off the door,” Mom said as she handed him a familiar-looking piece of white paper. She smiled as Scott read it aloud:

    Dear Scott,

    I’ve heard that you are an excellent reader. That’s great because we will be reading the scriptures all year in class. Would you come prepared to read 2 Timothy 3:14–15 on Sunday?


    Y. M. T.

    P.S. Sometimes I wear glasses when I read.

    When Scott took out the trash on Saturday, he found another note:

    Dear Scott,

    Tomorrow is the big day! I’m looking forward to having you in my class. Do you know me? I know you!


    Your (Favorite) Mystery Teacher

    P.S. I will be wearing something with flowers on it.

    On Sunday, Scott was up and dressed before everyone else. “I thought you weren’t going to Primary anymore,” his mom teased.

    “Well, I’m only going today.”

    The chapel was nearly full when Scott and his family found their seats. Quickly he scanned each row. He couldn’t believe that so many women in the ward had black hair. He noticed Sister Veatch with little glasses perched on her nose, but she wasn’t wearing anything flowered. And Scott tried not to giggle as he imagined Sister Cousins riding a bicycle.

    The Primary room buzzed with excitement as the children located their new seats. Scott and his friends settled into the two rows marked for their class. They were surprised to find the teacher’s chair still empty.

    Emily leaned over and whispered, “It has to be Sister Hernandez. She has black hair, and when she comes to visit teach my mom, she always wears those funny little glasses.”

    “But what about bike riding?” asked Stasha.

    “I’ve seen her riding bikes with her kids!” Tyler offered. It was then they heard the sound of chair legs scraping the floor behind them. The children stiffened and held their breaths as “the mystery teacher” slipped quietly into her seat. Together they turned and peeked over their shoulders.

    “Dad!” shouted Scott.

    “Hey, Brother Weatherford! Nice tie!”

    The mystery teacher put a finger to his lips and winked at the class. “Welcome to Primary,” he whispered.

    Scott grinned and turned back in his chair. I think I’ll keep coming to Primary, he decided as Sister Thomas stood to welcome the children to the first day in their new Primary classes.

    Illustrated by Matt Maxwell