Monday, February 1, 2010

A love story - must read!

> 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 around..'
> 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 taken.'
> 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 withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school.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
> class.'
> 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 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.'
> (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

1 comment:

  1. Irene,

    Is this the reason you went to teaching? To make a difference in some one's life.

    All the material in life are not important for relationship than the broker bracelet and the cheap perfume - only cheap perfume can last that long.

    Thanks for the touching story.