Monday, January 2, 2012

LIFE's TEACHINGs [a motivational story]

A nice story, a li'l long, take your
There is a story many years ago
of an elementary teacher. Her
name was Mrs. Thompson. And
as she stood in front of her 5th
grade class on the very first day
of school, she told the children a
lie. Like most teachers, she
looked at her students and said
that she loved them all the
But 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 didn't play well with the
other children, that his clothes
were messy and that he
constantly needed a bath. And
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withdrawn and doesn't show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
sometimes sleeps in class."
By now, Mrs. Thompson realised
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. 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, and 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 her
"teacher's pet."
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. 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 honours. He assured
Mrs. Thompson that she was still
the best and favourite teacher
he 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 favourite
teacher he ever had. But now his
name was a little longer, the
letter was signed, Theodore F.
Stoddard, M.D.
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. 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." 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."
Warm someone's heart today....
Pass it along.


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