Ella Bishop is an inhibited girl whose frustrations grow as she approaches womanhood. As a women, her ambitions to teach cause her to lose her only opportunity for true love. Ella's life becomes one of missed chances and wrong choices. As she reaches old age, she reflects back and realizes she allowed the years to go by without achieving what she believes to be her true fulfillment. However, her years have not been without glory, and her moment of triumph arrives when her numerous now-famous students from over the years, return to honor their beloved Miss Bishop.