Heart Test

Dilbert

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Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school.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 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 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 those of you who don’t know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr. at Iowa Methodist in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)

-- Author Unknown  (This story originated from HolyBible.com)
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18 comments
  1. mybroom said:

    thanks so much for sharing this – 3 cups of tea!!

  2. Wow! You really know how to get to me, don’t you? My wife is an elementary school teacher and deals with this stuff every year! It can be heart wrenching. Tears are rolling down my cheeks! I give this one ten cups of your very best tea or coffee! Great post, Kenny!

    • Hey Dave, Thanks for the comment. When I found this story and finished reading; I had to step back to get a grip on the emotions that were flowing through me all at once. Take Care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T

  3. It’s hard to type because of the tears in my eyes, but I loved this. Thanks so much for posting. I had several people who believed in me as a child, and I know it made a huge difference. Now it’s my turn to encourage maybe even inspire. Great post!

  4. Rebecca said:

    Every word, every look, every smile, every frown – we touch lives just by existing. We can either reflect God’s love or we can drive people away. This story is a beautiful example of how one person can change the world. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I see you enjoyed Graeme’s post in MyBroom regarding the law and grace. I thought you would be interested to learn a different Biblical take on issue: Legalists were personified in Jesus’s time by the Pharisees and Scribes. They were the hypocrites who burden the people additional rules taken from their interpretation of God’s Law. They attracted Jesus’s anger who called them, white washed tombs, they looked great on the outside but were empty. Their modern day contemporaries are those who lead people astray by failing to teach the full counsel of God, what is known as the Gospel or Good News. We are all sinners, saved by Grace. Nothing in and of ourselves but purely by the Grace of a good God who so hates sin that he poured out his wrath on His own son. While we were sinners he died for us, bad people saved by a gracious God. Without teaching the wrath of God you cannot see the full grace of God. How are people to know they need Grace? First they need the mirror of the Father’s Holy, Pure and Just Law that shows how wretched we are. “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me”. Leaving out the law is like a doctor offering treatment for a serious illness without a diagnosis. Do you know of people who think they are perfectly well accepting treatment from a physician? There’s no surgeon coming near me with his scalpel before I am persuaded by his diagnosis. When I see Jesus bloodied, battered and unrecognisable body hanging from that old wooden cross I see the depth of God’s Love – now that’s the Good News, the full counsel of God.

  6. Love this story, & love this blog site. The funny stories are so cool too!!! Keep up the good work… its a blessing!!!!!

    • Thank you for the comment and I’m so glad you enjoy the Blog!!! Take care and God Bless 🙂 Kenny T

  7. abdance said:

    That was hard to read through the tears!

  8. This is a beautiful message. I’m a teacher. Sometimes it’s the ones who are the most challenging to love who need it the most.

  9. Kim said:

    A beautiful reminder of the power of compassion…….my mum was a teacher for over 40 years and almost every where I go I meet “Teddy Stoddards” who tell me how their lives were enriched by her help, love and compassion toward them….thanks for sharing that story……..Kim

    • Hey Kim, I’m glad you enjoyed the story!!!! I had an English teacher that holds a special place in my Heart. Mrs Grice…. 🙂 Kenny T Phil 4:4-7, 23

  10. MrTheKidd said:

    Can you stop posting stories that make tears!

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