A Teacher’s Lesson


There are some stories that touch your heart. Especially those that have a message.

This is a story I got earlier from the net – and I especially think it is relevant for parents as well as teachers.

  • Believe in your child/ Student.
  • Show them that they are special-and they can make a difference.

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. And 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Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school.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 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 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 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, 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 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 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."

Communication with God…


For each of you to understand!

How to look at the opportunities in life.


I asked for Strength………
And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for Wisdom………
And God gave me Problems to solve.

I asked for Prosperity………
And God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.

I asked for Courage………
And God gave me Danger to overcome.

I asked for Love………
And God gave me Troubled people to help.

I asked for Favors………
And God gave me Opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted ……..
I received everything I needed!

A Millionaire and Three Beggars



Beautiful story to highlight the element of being selfless in your asks of God.. .

There was a good-natured millionaire in the town. Three beggars thought of approaching him for help. The first man went to the millionaire and said: "O Lord! I want five rupees. Please give me." The millionaire was taken aback at this man’s impudence. "What! You demand five rupees from me as though I owe you the money! How dare you? How can I afford to give five rupees to a single beggar? Here, take these two rupees and get away," he said. The man went away with the two rupees.

The next beggar went to the millionaire and said: "Oh Lord! I have not taken a square meal for the past ten days. Please help me."

"How much do you want?" asked the millionaire.

"Whatever you give me, Maharaj," replied the beggar.

"Here, take this ten rupee note. You can have nice food for at least three days." The beggar walked away with the ten rupee note.

The third beggar came. "Oh Lord, I have heard about your noble qualities. Therefore, I have come to see you. Men of such charitable disposition are verily the manifestations of God on earth," he said.

"Please sit down," said the millionaire. "You appear to be tired. Please take this food," he said, and offered food to the beggar.

"Now please tell me what I can do for you."

"Oh Lord," replied the beggar; "I merely came to meet such a  noble personage that you are. You have given me this rich food already. What more need I get from you? You have already shown extraordinary kindness towards me. May God bless you!"

But the millionaire, struck by the beggar’s spirit, begged of the beggar to remain with him, built a decent house for him in his own compound, and looked after him for the rest of his life.

God is like this good millionaire. Three classes of people approach Him, with three different desires and prayers. There is the greedy man full of vanity, full of arrogance, full of desires. He demands the objects of worldly enjoyment from God. Since this man, whatever be his vile desires, has had the good sense to approach God, He grants him some part of the desired objects (even these very soon pass away, just as the two rupees the first beggar got are spent before nightfall).

The other type of devotee prays to the Lord for relief from the sufferings of the world, but is better than the first one, in as much as he is ready to abide by His Will. To him the Lord grants full relief from suffering, and bestows on him much wealth and property.

The third type  he merely prays to the Lord: "O Lord, Thou art Existence-Absolute, Knowledge-Absolute, Bliss-Absolute, etc., etc." What does he want? Nothing. But the Lord is highly pleased with his spirit of renunciation, of desirelessness and of self-surrender. Therefore, He makes him eat His own food, i.e., He grants this man Supreme Devotion to Himself. Over and above this, He makes the devotee to live in His own House For ever afterwards this devotee dwells in the Lord’s Abode as a Liberated Sage



This is a beautiful story of why it is important to let every child evolve on their own- and allow them the space and time to build their strengths – so that they can fly effectively.  Big lesson for all parents out there!

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.

We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

The 2 critical elements to succeed wildly in life (for your kids as well)


Studies can be one of the most monotonous activities a child can undergo! I remember my times as a kid, who would do anything in my power to avoid studies :) Of course, I got away with anything, because my parents rarely knew what I was up to.  Looking back, I think of all the time, that I could have utilized, if only, I had the two key elements that are critical to succeed –

  1. Positive Self Esteem – Self –esteem is the single most important criteria to succeed. I am yet to meet someone who succeeded brilliantly despite having a very low self esteem.  A well developed, positive self esteem, drives the second most critical element to succeed
  2. Positive Outlook – A positive outlook, that is drives the student to achieve more great things for themselves in the future.

Alas, for most of us in my generation, there were very few guides, role-models or books to help us focus our energies! This generation, on the other hand, has a multitude of offerings to help the children do better- in various ways.

With a positive spirit, (and with the right guidance), the child can create the best models possible to succeed.

As a parent, you can focus on providing the child with a positive self-esteem & a positive outlook on anything – and the rest of the success will surely follow!


8 Tips to Help You Study Better and More Effectively + Mindmapping


This is a wonderful article I saw earlier today in the “Life Optimizer” site – and by Amber Hensley.  Great summary of what to do to ensure you study better!  I want to add a couple of things (with all credit to Ms. Hensley)..  After following the 8 tips, it is ideal to focus on how best to remember what you have read- and have a system of tracking and remembering what you have studied!  Mindmaps are the tools that help in these cases. 

Another skill that can be used to build your ability as a super student is to get into Speed Reading – but that is a different topic & I will get to it soon! 

Read on- great article.


By Donald Latumahina (follow me on Twitter) , September 11, 2009

Note: This is a guest post by Amber Hensley of Online College

While you might already be ahead of the game if you are studying at all, you might as well make the most of the time you spend preparing for class and ensure that all those hours you put into reviewing notes and reading chapters actually pay off. Here are some tips that can help you learn to study better and get more out of what you’re studying so you can spend less time pouring over books and more time enjoying life at school.

1. Find some peace and quiet. Studies have shown that just 20 minutes of highly focused, quiet time can help you learn and remember more than hours of working with distractions and while multi-tasking. So, to get the most out of your study time retreat to a place where you won’t be bothered by loud music or talking and can just focus in on your work.

2. Get organized. If your papers and materials are all over, you’ll spend just as much time looking for what you need as actually reading through and absorbing material which doesn’t make for a very productive use of your time. Keep one notebook just for notes for a class and ensure that all your papers are in a place you can actually locate them. It might take more planning up front but it will pay off in the long run.

3. Take breaks. Studying intensely can really take a toll on your brain and eventually make it hard for you to think clearly at all. That isn’t much of a help when you’re trying to understand difficult concepts or learn new things. Take short breaks during your study time so you can rest your eyes and mind and come back refreshed and ready to learn.

4. Have a schedule. The problem with the way that many students study is that they wait until the last minute and begin cramming the day before a big test. This really isn’t the most effective way to learn or remember new information. While it might not be fun, spending time in the weeks leading up to a test reviewing the material will be much more beneficial and might actually help you remember the material after the test as well.

5. Consider the subject. Each subject has a particular way in which it will be easiest to learn and remember. Subjects that require memorization may be more easy to learn with flashcards and timelines while subjects like math that require problem solving might be better served with doing the practice problems in your book. Spend some time figuring out just how you learn each subject best and then use that knowledge to maximize what you get out of your study sessions.

6. Study more frequently. It isn’t the duration of your study sessions that really makes a difference, it’s the frequency. You’ll learn a lot more through repetition, so break up your study time into shorter sessions every day rather than trying to cram it all in at the last minute.

7. Write it down. For most people, writing things down helps big time when it comes time to recall things on a test or even just during study time. Take notes in class and use methods that require you to do something to actively participate in learning the material– not just reading it over and over.

8. Be realistic. You’re not going to be able to memorize an entire month’s worth of material in only one night of intense studying. You likely won’t remember a good chunk of it. Be realistic in how you break up your study sessions and tackle only the amount of material that you’ll actually be able to benefit from studying– not the whole book at once.

This post was contributed by Amber Hensley, who writes about the accredited online college. She welcomes your feedback at AmberHensley1980@ yahoo.com.

Cornell Note taking methodology – and bringing in Mindmaps


In general, one of the key areas that one looks at more efficient tools is in the area of Note-taking. During a cursory look for some tools for my OneNote (this is a MS tool that is your notebook on the computer-but more of that later), I came across this tool called the Cornell Note taking methodology. I spent some trying to read up on the same, and was impressed with the simplicity of the whole thought.  That led me to think of how I could incorporate a “mini-mindmap” into the methodology to make it even more relevant.

In my mind, the route to Note taking using ONLY mindmaps should be step 2- and start with the note-taking methods you are comfortable with but use Mindmaps for building your memory. Once you comfortable with the concept, then move on to creating notes using mindmaps. I realize how difficult it is at times to try to take notes only in Mindmaps when the School teacher or lecturer is making you take down notes! 

The way to take the Cornell Notes is as follows:


This format provides the perfect opportunity for following through with the 5 R’s of note-taking:

  1. Record – During the lecture, record in the main column as many meaningful facts and ideas as you can. Write legibly.
  2. Reduce – As soon after as possible, summarize these facts and ideas concisely in the Cue Column. Summarizing clarifies meanings and relationships, reinforces continuity, and strengthens memory.
  3. Recite – Cover the Note Taking Area, using only your jottings in the Cue Column, say over the facts and ideas of the lecture as fully as you can, not mechanically, but in your own words. Then, verify what you have said.
  4. Reflect – Draw out opinions from your notes and use them as a starting point for your own reflections on the course and how it relates to your other courses. Reflection will help prevent ideas from being inert and soon forgotten.
  5. Review – Spend 10 minutes every week in quick review of your notes, and you will retain most of what you have learned.

So where does Mind mapping come in?

The Cue Columns are your key words that we use in creating mindmaps (Could be both 4 and 5 in the R’s).

Think of creating your own “mini-mindmap” here which will help you create your own unique tool to memorize the contents of the page. 

Create a more detailed mindmap of the full chapter once the chapter is over- and you can review every element of the chapter easily.

Try it out.

Checkout more about this methodology here –


Single Handle Every Task


This is a great article that I came across from Brian Tracy. Read on. Especially true for the purposes of all those who are going through the pain of preparing for exams..

By: Brian Tracy
Eat that frog! Every bit of planning, prioritizing and organizing comes down to this simple concept.
Your ability to select your most important task, to begin it and then to concentrate on it single mindedly until it is complete is the key to high levels of performance and personal productivity.
The Requirement for Every Great Achievement
Every great achievement of mankind has been preceded by a long period of hard, concentrated work until the job was done. Single handling requires that once you begin, you keep working at the task, without diversion or distraction, until the job is 100% complete. You keep urging yourself onward by repeating the words "Back to work!" over and over whenever you are tempted to stop or do something else.
Reduce Your Time By 50%
By concentrating single mindedly on your most important task, you can reduce the time required to complete it by 50% or more.
It has been estimated that the tendency to start and stop a task, to pick it up, put it down and come back to it can increase the time necessary to complete the task by as much as 500%.
Each time you return to the task, you have to familiarize yourself with where you were when you stopped and what you still have to do. You have to overcome inertia and get yourself going again. You have to develop momentum and get into a productive work rhythm.

Be an Optimist! Be Positive



"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land or opened a new heaven to the human spirit."

Helen Keller, lecturer

I have spoken to so many folks who are getting ready for various types of exams.. and I am amazed at how much they have tied themselves into knots by just thinking of negative thoughts!

First thing in preparing for any exams- Keep a positive mind set. Start with every preparation with a "I can do it, this is EASY!" mindset, and you will be surprised every time- it does in fact become easy.

BE POSITIVE- in your thoughts, in your deeds! You will get there quicker!

Make Tracking your goals your New Habit



“Habit my friend, is

practice long pursued, that

at last becomes the man