Friday, June 22, 2007


This says it all~~Edie

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Difference

I think this came from one of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series. Sorry that I don't know for sure, but I love it. I came across it today and no matter how many times I read it, it touches me....Edie

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. 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"Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school.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 iton, 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 tha this 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."

Just goes to show you should never judge a book by it's cover.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Learning To Get Back Up...

Bringing a giraffe into the world is a tall order. A baby giraffe falls 10
feet from its mother's womb and usually lands on its back. Within
seconds it rolls over and tucks its legs under its body. From this position
it considers the world for the first time and shakes off the last vestiges of
the birthing fluid from its eyes and ears. Then the mother giraffe rudely
introduces its offspring to the reality of life.

In his book, "A View from the Zoo", Gary Richmond describes how a
newborn giraffe learns its first lesson.

The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a quick look.
Then she positions herself directly over her calf. She waits for about a
minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing. She swings her
long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent
sprawling head over heels.

When it doesn't get up, the violent process is repeated over and over
again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired,
the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts. Finally, the calf stands
for the first time on its wobbly legs.

Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off
its feet again. Why? She wants it to remember how it got up. In the wild,
baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible to stay with
the herd, where there is safety. Lions, hyenas, leopards, and wild hunting
dogs all enjoy young giraffes, and they'd get it too, if the mother didn't
teach her calf to get up quickly and get with it.

The late Irving Stone understood this. He spent a lifetime studying
greatness, writing novelized biographies of such men as Michelangelo,
Vincent van Gogh, Sigmund Freud, and Charles Darwin.

Stone was once asked if he had found a thread that runs through the
lives of all these exceptional people. He said, "I write about people who
sometime in their life have a vision or dream of something that should be
accomplished and they go to work.

"They are beaten over the head, knocked down, vilified, and for years
they get nowhere. But every time they're knocked down they stand up.
You cannot destroy these people. And at the end of their lives they've
accomplished some modest part of what they set out to do."

Craig B. Larson
Adapted from "Illustrations for Preaching &
Teaching from Leadership Journal

Baker Books