As we grow up, people touch our lives in both big and small ways, and leave imprints on our hearts forever. Growing up I had several teachers that made an impact on my life. Three amazing teachers come to mind when I think about my time in school: Mrs. Stanton, Mr. Duff, but most importantly, Mrs. Williams.
Jane Goodall once said, “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Mrs. Williams was my freshman year mixed-choir teacher and she too was new to Halls High School. I immediately felt like she cared beyond the student-teacher role. Freshman year is tough, kids are trying to find their way in the world, while maintaining friendships and dignity. High school, especially freshman year, was no easy task for me.
During the spring semester, Mrs. Williams was the only person who noticed my weight fluctuation and asked me if I was okay. I’ll never forget she followed our talk by saying, “Tell your momma to buy some jeans that fit.” This was one of the many attributes that made her special. She will first check on your well being and then make you smile and laugh. By the end of freshman year I had fitting jeans and a “favorite teacher.”
By my junior year I had earned a spot in madrigals. During that year I spent more time with this group of kids than I did with my family. We spent most nights of November and December performing for Christmas parties, banks, nursing homes, etc. Mrs. Williams receives no extra salary for the late nights and early mornings, but she truly deserves it. I don’t know how many nights we weren’t home until 10pm and she woke up every morning by 5am for an early morning workout. She didn’t become my favorite teacher because she was funny or even took us to the Bahamas (though she deserves a Medal of Honor taking 20 TEENAGERS on a cruise ship to sing). She became my favorite teacher because she not only made class fun, but she taught me life lessons. We spent many days talking through heartaches and girl fights. She listened, gave advice, and always made sure to check up on the issue. She shared her own struggles, life mistakes, and was always honest. Mrs. Williams, if you read this, you’ll never know the impact you’ve made on my life.