愛的教育故事

一.

教育愛

TEACHING

Mrs. Thompson

There's teaching and then there's TEACHING.

It brought a tear to me eye.

Recently, I heard a wonderful story about how an elementary school teacher by the name of Mrs. Thompson discovered what teaching was really all about.

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Many years ago, she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school and told the children a lie - she said that she loved them all equally and would continue to do so.

But that was not really true this year, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a dirty little boy name Teddy Stoddard.

She had been warned about Teddy.

He didn't play well with the other children, his clothes were messy and he constantly needed a bath. And, Teddy was often unpleasant and disruptive in class.

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. Fortunately, teachers at her school were required to review each child's past records. Mrs. Thompson put Teddy's off until last, dreading what she would find.

What she discovered changed her life! Teddy's Grade 1 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 Grade 2 teacher wrote,

"Teddy is an excellent student, well like by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home is becoming a struggle." His Grade 3 teacher wrote,

"His mothers 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 4th 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"Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school.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 ashamed of herself.

She felt even worse when her students brought her 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 unwrapped a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle of perfume that was only one quarter full.

Mrs. Thompson stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, put it on, and dabbed 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 Mrs. Thompson cried. From that day forward, Mrs. Thompson quit teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic and began to teach children. She 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 children the same, she discovered that she loved Teddy most of all!

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.

Then six years went by before she got another note.

This time he wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Four more years passed before she heard from Teddy again.

This time he wrote that while things had been tough at times, he had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest honours.

He again assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favourite teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Four more years passed and yet another letter came.

This time Teddy explained that after he got his bachelors 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, M.D.

The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring.

Teddy said that he had met a wonderful girl and they were 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 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 the perfume.

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,

"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."

 

湯老師的故事

中譯

湯梅是一位小學老師。

在新學期開始第一天,她都會說個開場白:

「在這個學期堙A我會盡力教導,並且,也會對每位同學,一視同仁。」

只是「說來容易作來難」,身為一個基督徒的湯老師,免不了會跌倒在「個人喜惡」的軟弱上。

就像這次吧,話才剛對這班五年級學生說完,湯老師的眼睛,就立時感到不舒服了。

她看見坐在前排角落的一個男生,不但已經把小書桌擺得亂七八糟,更同時,還幾乎 把他那瘦小身軀,

半趴在桌面上呢!

湯老師知道,這個男孩的名字是「李瑞吉」,因為在過去一年堙A湯老師都早已經在校園中,特別地注

意過他了。

因為,每在下課的時間,別的孩子都興高采烈地在校園中運動或玩遊戲時,而這個小孩都無意加入。

而且他老穿著又髒又舊,又不合身的衣服,獨自站在一旁,每當走近他的時候,還會聞到些氣味呢!

嗯,他需要洗個好澡。湯老師還記得,當時的心堙A總這麼想著。

教瑞吉,可真是件既困難又失望的事。

漸漸地,似乎感覺到,凡拿紅筆在瑞吉的作業上,打個大叉或在他考卷上寫個不合格,都已成了固定且

麻木的事。

對瑞吉這個學生,在開始時還具有的一點同情與耐心,都已經慢慢消失了。

學校埵陰瓥W定,凡擔任導師的,都必須去看過全班同學在過去幾年中,由別的導師作的評論。

湯老師在查閱時,還會不自覺地,把瑞吉的紀錄,擺到最後面去。

但是,就在那個晚上,當湯老師在看過了瑞吉的學生紀錄以後,就從她心堛熔`處,泛起了一股說不出

的滋味。

瑞吉一年級時的導師評論是:聰明、活潑、時常喜笑,他作功課整潔,按時繳交, 對小朋友們的態度友

善,有他在身旁,總帶來喜樂。

二年級時的評論是:瑞吉是個好學生,與同學們相處融洽。 但因他媽媽患了重病,以致他的家庭生活,

遭遇難題。

三年級時:瑞吉母親的去世,帶給他極大的困難與改變。他雖盡力於功課,但他爸爸卻似乎無意介入。

若無其他幫助,則會因他家庭生活的改變,帶給他極大的影響。

四年級時的評論則是:「對於學校堛漸\課與活動,瑞吉已不再做出正面的回應。他鮮與其他同學來往

,並且,經常還在課堂上睡覺」。

現在,湯老師終於明白瑞吉在學校媗膆X各種問題的原因了。更同時,她對自己自開學以來,心媢儱

吉已存有的偏見與不耐,感到如同被利箭扎心一般的羞恥與虧欠。

那年的聖誕節快來了,學生們也都從家堭a禮物來送給老師。

早上第一堂課開始前,湯老師的書桌上,已經堆滿了大小不一但都包裝彩麗的聖誕禮物。當然啦,除了

瑞吉所帶來的以外,他所帶的是一個用橡皮筋圈住的,一個舊雜貨店紙袋罷了。

滿臉含笑的湯老師,走進了教室,在同學們歡樂融融下,開始拿起一盒盒的禮物。她先唸出盒面上同學

的名字,再打開包裝,把一件熬費苦心,精挑細選的小禮物,拿得高高地向全班展現。

立時便得著了四起的讚嘆,也染紅了那位送禮同學的小臉。 禮物開到一半時,湯老師拿起了瑞吉所帶來

的舊紙袋。

立時引發起全班的大笑。而湯老師的內心,也在剎那間,轉變成深深的同情與心疼。她舉起手來止住了

笑聲,再從袋子堭ルX來兩樣東西:

一件是鑲有塑膠亮片的腕鐲,有幾片已經脫落了。

另一件是一小瓶香水,從透明的玻璃瓶,可以很清楚地看出,只有半滿而已。

這些看在同學眼中,禁不住又爆出一陣大笑......。

這時候,湯老師望著瑞吉,只見他孤寂地半躺在書桌上,眼睛的深處,只有落寞與孤寂,毫無興奮,也

沒盼望。 湯老師再度舉手,阻止笑聲,還不光如此,湯老師還慢慢地,滿臉含笑地,先向瑞吉道謝之後

,就當著全班同學的面,帶上了那個舊手鐲,然後,打開了那瓶半滿的香水,塗擦在手臂上。

那天放學以後,瑞吉沒有走,他獨自守候在校園堙A只是為了要向湯老師說一句話:

「今天早上,你聞起來,就和我從前的媽媽一樣。」

在寒冷的暮色中,湯老師望著瑞吉小小的身子,慢慢地走出校園時,再也忍不住了, 淚水遮住了她的雙眼。

第二學期開始前,湯老師得了校長的同意,改教新開的一班──困難學生班。

瑞吉當然是班堛漱@個,使瑞吉趕上功課,湯老師真不知花上了多少額外時間。

慢慢地,瑞吉開始在生活上起了轉變,在活力上有了增添。湯老師清楚地察覺到,只要肯給瑞吉更多的

溫暖,更多的鼓勵,瑞吉也就自動地朝相同方向,作出正面的回應。 那個學期終了時,瑞吉已成為全班

堻怞n的一個學生。

當然啦,不管在這一學期中,湯老師是否完全作到了,她給新教班的開場白,

「 ......我對全班都一視同仁」,但是,瑞吉卻的確變成了一個最聽湯老師話,努力的好學生。

一年後,瑞吉自小學畢業了。 畢業典禮舉行那天黃昏,湯老師自她的門縫堙A發現了一張字條,上面寫

著:「你是我一生中,最好的一位老師。」

光陰似箭,六年後,湯老師又收到瑞吉的來信,上面說:

「我已完成了高中教育,全校中我排名第一。你卻仍然是在我生命堙A所遇見到最好的一位老師。」

四年又過去了,又一封瑞吉的來信,寄到了湯老師的手堙C上面說:

「因為家堛漣x難,四年塈痝ㄛO半工而全讀。就在明日,我又將以最佳成績自大學畢業。」信的末了

,他又慎重地再度提起:

「到現在,你還是我在一生堙A所遇見過最好的一位老師。」 湯老師拿信的雙手有點輕顫,一顆顆喜樂

、安慰的淚水,輕輕滴落,給浸濕了信紙。

時光飛逝,幾年又過去了。 在一個仲夏來臨,鳳凰花鮮紅怒放的早晨,湯老師又收到了瑞吉的來信,是

從美國寄來的。 上面說:「大學畢業後,我繼續在學識上向前邁進了一大步。」信尾,他再度保證說:

「無可置疑的,你一直是在我的生命堙A所遇見過最好的一位老師。」

可是呀,他在這封信上的簽名卻有些改變:「李瑞吉醫生。」

故事到這堙A並沒有終了。 就在第二年的春天,瑞吉寄來了一張印刷精美的請帖:

「下個月,我將要結婚。並且,我的父親已於兩年前去世。因此,想請問湯老師,可願前來參加婚禮?

並請坐在給新郎母親所保留的座位上?」 願意,噢,當然願意。 湯老師也快樂地被淚水矇矓了雙目。

猜猜看,正當婚禮進行時,湯老師手腕上帶著甚麼?對,就是那已脫落亮片的舊手鐲,身上呢,擦著瑞

吉母親在好些年前去世後所留下的半瓶香水。

婚禮結束了,但賓客們卻都不起身離去,他們似乎在等待,還有一件重要的事將要發生。

果然,新郎與新娘一同快步走到為新郎母親保留的座位前,一同擁抱住慢慢起身的湯老師。

瑞吉用充滿敬愛與感恩的眼光望著湯老師,一面向著賓客說:

「湯老師,若不是你曾無條件,全心全意地給予我莫大的愛心與教導,我那有力量與信心,來突破困難

,創造未來?在我心目中,你豈只是一位老師而已,你早已取代了我媽媽的地位。」

喜淚盈眶的湯老師回答:「事情並不止如此,當年,若不是慈愛的天父將你──放入我的生命堙A我

能學到真心施愛給別人的真諦。」

聽到這,全場賓客們,都忍不住地拍起了如雷的掌聲,讓歡欣、讚美的情緒淹盡了一切。