Murphy initiates pathway for future teachers


Lexi Garza, Multimedia Staff

As a child, you were always asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The usual responses were things like “a fireman” or “a policeman,” because who doesn’t want to be a superhero?

Robyn Murphy, on the other hand, knew right from the start that she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up.

Last school year, English Teacher Robyn Murphy started teaching a career pathway for students to become teachers. Murphy’s goal is to support, encourage, and prepare students for pursuing teaching as a career.

“I think they will be more prepared to choose what type of certification they want to pursue, and for those who may not want to teach, it will make their own paths a little clearer,” said Murphy. “A successful teaching career is built upon so many things, and I believe support from mentors is crucial.”

Murphy didn’t want to be anywhere else than a school.

“I was the teacher stereotype of playing school with my Cabbage Patch Kids,” said Murphy, who has been teaching for 16 years. “I have always loved learning, and could not imagine not being in a school.”

She didn’t start teaching until her 30s, despite her early passion for the career.

“I was a late bloomer. I decided in college to try something else, and it didn’t bring job satisfaction,” said Murphy. “I worked in advertising and managed a bookstore , but I felt like something was missing. In 2003, I went back to finish my certification with a Master of Arts in Teaching.”

Murphy has been around the teaching realm for a long time. She was inspired to teach because of her mother, who spent 27 years teaching and challenging kids to be the best versions of themselves.

“She was amazing, and I can honestly say, one of the best teachers I ever had,” said Murphy.

Robyn was also inspired by her high school English teacher, Elizabeth Hunt.

“She made learning interesting, and she saw something in me,” said Murphy. “She gave me the courage to try.”

In Murphy’s Learning Communities class, she helps her students grow and develop a passion for teaching.

“I really enjoy watching them become more engaged with the material and how it causes them to reflect on learning and personal growth,” said Murphy.

Some of her students who are inspired to pursue teaching talked about how they learned about topics like teaching styles, strategies, and bias in the classroom.

“Right now, I am learning about how to get rid of bias and stereotyping in my daily life,” said Cameron Edwards, who is in Murphy’s Learner-Centered Classroom. “It helps me figure out what kind of teachers there are, and learn about the different strategies of teaching.”

Another student from the Learning Communities class feels the same way.

“I’d like to be a kindergarten teacher, and I chose this class because it helps me figure out how to teach children, how not to have bias, and how students’ minds are shaped and formed,” said Kiana Combs.

Murphy has also furthered her students’ education in the options of teaching.

“ I want to be a college art professor,” said Sara Bond, who is in Murphy’s Learning Communities class. “I chose this class because I want to learn new things and different ways to teach, and I think it’s really cool.”

The pathway clarified what another student, also from the Learning Communities class, would like to teach in the future.

“I am taking this class because I want to become an English teacher for middle schoolers,” said Emily McPherson. “I thought it would prepare me for college to learn how to teach the children and help them succeed.”

This class will help you answer that childhood question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” If you have a passion for being a teacher and want to try it out, then take Murphy’s advice: “Even if they don’t teach, I find this is a good class for self reflection and evaluation.”                                                         

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