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Something to Think About.....

 Happy Holidays to One and All..........

                     LITTLE TEDDY STODDARD

   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 same.

   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.

  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

   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   Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and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 realized the problem and she was horified.
   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 day in       
front of the class.

   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 Mommy      

   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 honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was
   still the best and favorite 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 favorite 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 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."

   Warm someone's heart today.. Pass it along.

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