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Thread: A Life's Lesson Learned - A great story and true!

  1. #1
    community benefactor stitchofclass2's Avatar
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    ONE OF THE BEST STORIES I'VE EVER HEARD!

    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    Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school.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 honours. 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 of r 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

  2. #2
    Super Member icon17's Avatar
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    Thank you made me cry.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by icon17
    Thank you made me cry.
    me too

  4. #4
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    Read it before and still makes me cry! My sister is a special teacher like mrs Thompson. Her students come back yr after yr to say hi and help her! Even helped her paint and move into her new home after divorce!

  5. #5
    Super Member Carrie Jo's Avatar
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    I forwarded this to a woman I know who is just beginning her teaching carreer, Thank you it was touching.

  6. #6
    Senior Member gunny148's Avatar
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    Thank you yeah got tears lots of them thanks for sharing

  7. #7
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    A beautiful story. Thank you.

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    Senior Member cinnya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carhop
    Quote Originally Posted by icon17
    Thank you made me cry.
    me too
    Me too.....going to send it to my daughter who is a teacher.

  9. #9
    Member gladgirl's Avatar
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    What a wonderful true story. I read it through blurry eyes.

  10. #10
    Super Member wanderingcreek's Avatar
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    Beautiful story! Teachers like that deserve to be recognized as there are far too few like her.

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    Senior Member dpparris's Avatar
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    I have read this story before and cry everytime I read it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Millstream Mom's Avatar
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    Heart-warming!

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    Well, it COULD be true. Lots of teachers are good ones, and make a difference in their kids' lives. A difference that lasts for
    years and years.

    Personally, I absolutely and flatly refuse to go to basketball games and haven't at any time in my life since I was 14 years old. In school we had a big city basketball coach who hated "hillbilly hicks" and my cousins and I over heard a lot of that. That coach totally ruined my and a couple of cousins' joy in games, and to this day I flatly refuse and have refused all my life to play games with a group. And I'm 77 years old.

    On the other hand, I can't remember any other teachers except for my 3rd grade one, Mrs. Trot. All of us disliked her because she was the toughest teacher in school, yet she taught us more than any other one in that school. We found ourselves fighting the "rich town kids" because they laughed at how she dressed..
    but she taught us and insisted that we were smart enough to learn anything she taught. We didn't LIKE her, but we sure as heck respected her above all the others. Only other one I remember is the principle!!!! Went to visit him often for fighting, me and my cousins side by side on that hard bench outside his office.

  14. #14
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing this heart warming story :D:D:D

  15. #15
    Power Poster ann clare's Avatar
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    Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.

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    Super Member maryel's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing this. It so touched my heart...

  17. #17
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    It makes me cry. That is why I don't watch lifetime channel. It makes my sinuses hurt.

  18. #18
    Super Member NauDeeGal's Avatar
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    Awesome story! Thank you so much for sharing it!

    Reminds me of my favorite 5th grade teacher, Mr. Taliafaro! He was an awesome teacher. He really knew how to communicate with us kids and really listened to us as kids when hardly any adults did at that time. Sad thing was he had a heart attack and died during Christmas break. He was in his late 40's early 50's, and never sick! His teaching skills definitely changed me for the better and his sudden, unexpected death changed me negatively. Thank you for bringing up the awesome memories of a great teacher.

  19. #19
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    I work in a school as a speech pathologist and I always say no matter who the child is that it is someones daughter or son. How would I want my child treated? I have never seen a teacher take pleasure in putting an F on a paper. I have seen them take entire lunch breaks discussing strategies to teach a child better so they never have to give that child another F ever again.

  20. #20
    Senior Member JSNOMORE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icon17
    Thank you made me cry.
    me too

  21. #21
    Super Member jeannie t's Avatar
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    Beautiful Story.

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    My great granddaughter has a teacher like that. Mrs. Peters teaches the special children at Cowan Elementary School. She said she will never give up on these children. My great granddaughter is autistic and just turned 4. She is a beautiful little girl, A year ago she didn't want any hugs and kisses and did not speak any words. Now she wants lots of love and is trying to speak a word every so often She has come so far and I give Mrs. Peters the credit. SHe is also working on the potty training.

  23. #23
    Senior Member quilter in the making's Avatar
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    I've read this before and it always chokes me up. Wonderful story.

  24. #24
    Power Poster dreamer2009's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icon17
    Thank you made me cry.
    ditto

  25. #25
    Super Member moreland's Avatar
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    Too good not to share with my family. Thank you for sharing it.

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