I felt very awkward as a little kid. I had good friends that I ran around with, but I still felt shy and nervous. I grew up in a rural community and was very sheltered. I’ll be honest. I wasn’t always excellent in school. Sometimes I was interested, but a lot of times I wasn’t.
But there’s always that one teacher – the one that makes you feel special, worthy, and accepted. For me, that was Ms. Murray.
In elementary school, I was placed in the gifted program which Ms. Murray ran. In this program, I was able to pursue the things I loved. I wrote stories. I composed music. I created art, and Ms. Murray was there every step of the way with her neverending encouragement.
I wasn’t judged – I was understood – and that was something I wasn’t getting at home or in the community. My family made fun of me for being in the gifted program and it hurt.
With Ms. Murray, I could be different and it was actually celebrated.
By the time I reached middle school, our school district had lost funding and the gifted program was cut. It really put a damper on my outlook and school became a huge chore I was stuck with for several more years until I could escape to college.
But I never forgot Ms. Murray and the way she made me feel. She made me believe I could do great things and I carried that into adulthood.
So Ms. Murray, if you’re out there, thank you.
Who was your one teacher? I would love to hear your stories.