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Registration date : 2009-03-16

PostSubject: GREAT STORY..MUST READ   Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:48 am


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Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show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"

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