What a great six grade teacher a student could ever have with the name Keris Murray. Ms. Murray had students digging in dirt looking for archaeological finds that told a story of what once was. Whatever the agenda, it was exciting and memorable. She had a way to a student’s heart whether it was a defiant student or a creative intellect. Ms. Murray went above and beyond the curriculum and in doing so, she always butted heads with the principal. She taught us how to stand up for ourselves and not to feel to bad about who we were, teaching us that no one was perfect and there was always room for change; but to never look down on ourselves was an asset. She had a sense of empowering you to do anything you set out to do. Somehow Ms. Murray’s way was going against the grain. Amongst all her attributes a trend would start.
Ms. Murray was known for sitting in your living room or kitchen table with your mom after school if their was a continuous problem with a student. This was when teachers took on the job as a school social worker after hours. She became a family friend and most often the best teacher that made a difference in your life despite the four children she had of her own and one attending Princeton University. She aimed for expunging the negative and exposing the good in her students.
I would have never thought that I would enjoy teaching in a FACS classroom as much as I enjoyed attending class in the sixth grade. Ms. Murray produced plays and talent shows that reflected the culture of the community and abroad. She always had us guessing what was next. She traveled on every school break and was anxious to show us artifacts attached to interesting stories upon her return.
I always wanted to be her favorite throughout the sixth grade but from understanding that it’s not productive for students to notice there’s a favorite makes me miss her even more. I’m glad I was able to spend the last years of her life as her mentee. I will always be inspired by her.