Exemplified Love! Job 8:10

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Teddy’s  fourth grade teacher wrote, ‘Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest  in school.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 favourite  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
favourite 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 Doctor at Iowa Methodist in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.

Jeanne,  Job 8:10

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