That One Teacher

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.


  1. antaresrichard says

    My third and six grade teacher, Miss McKeown (whose last name I was forever ending with an “s” until she married and became Mrs. Peaks – only then did I drop the sibilant!).
    We constantly use to do things together, even when I wasn’t in her class. We’d go to after-school science events or art events or for fresh donuts on Wednesdays. And I was just an ordinary pupil.
    I’ll always remember her.

  2. brightmoon says

    I had a kindergarten teacher Miss Phillips who I just loved. I was abused at home so she was trying to get me to stop being so fearful and shy by letting me sit on her lap. It’s helped because I don’t think of most people as potential problems! Now that I think about it it was unusual because she was a white woman and I’m Black and this was a time ( very very early 60s) when we were either routinely ignored or actively and deliberately mistreated. My family is racially and culturally mixed . But my father came from a culture that pretty routinely battered children and it affected me badly. . This type of violence against children was so pervasive in the culture it got to be a stereotype among Black Americans in the early part of the 20th century – the cruel West Indian parent .
    Unfortunately Miss Philips ran into her own type of societal abuse. She got married , got pregnant then got fired. Women routinely got fired if they were either married and/or pregnant back in the bad old days!

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