When you ask Ms. Murphy, she will tell you she is the “meanest teacher ever,” but any student who has had her will tell you the complete opposite.
Murphy, a first-grade teacher at Roosevelt Elementary, has a fondness for the imagination – which is why she enjoys Snow White and Harry Potter so much – and she has a heart for children. She loves her students and spends so much valuable time in the classroom building relationships with them.
In an interview with Murphy a few months back, two of her first-grade students got to know her a little better through a series of questions, one of which revealed her favorite thing about teaching.
“I like to see you guys get excited about what we are learning,” Murphy said. “That and I like reading stories.”
Murphy has a passion for teaching, and her students know this. She starts off the year strict – which is where she gets the reputation as the meanest teacher at Roosevelt – but, once they settle in and learn the rules, that’s when the real fun begins! From Charlie and The Chocolate Factory to the Revolutionary War, she covers it all.
“That’s the best part of my job,” Murphy said jokingly about why she likes being mean. “Torturing little children by giving them work, lots of work.”
In all seriousness, though, Murphy might actually be the most caring and genuine teacher in her school. She does everything for her students, and she makes the classroom a fun environment.
She even hosts mini holiday parties for her first graders, and they all enjoy them. That is why she had this to say when the students asked what her favorite color is.
“Green and do you guys know why? What is my favorite holiday? Saint Patrick’s Day, and the leprechauns hit our classroom every year.”
It’s well known that Ms. Murphy’s love of reading is only surpassed by her love of all things Irish and pride in her heritage as a daughter of Erin.
Murphy has made an impact on her students’ lives all year long, so much so that the parents have nothing but good things to say about her.
“Ms. Murphy truly cares about each of her kids and knows each of their individual strengths, weaknesses and personalities,” the parents said. “She strives to bring out the best in each child and will do everything she can to ensure that they are ready to not just survive the next grade, but to thrive. She is strict with her kids, but weaves fun, laughter and lots of art into each and every day. Her kids love her and she truly loves them.”
If there was ever a teacher who shows tough love, it is Murphy. On the surface it can appear that she is hard on the students, but when you dive a little deeper you see a teacher who is focused on helping her students grow.
“I’ve heard many times that if you can survive Ms. Murphy’s class, you can survive the rest of elementary school,” one parent said on the matter. “She pushes her kids to achieve their best and they carry those work habits throughout the rest of their school years. It is not uncommon for a child to stand up at their fifth-grade promotion ceremony and tell a story about Ms. Murphy’s class. She tells everyone she is the ‘meanest first grade teacher,’ but if you ask any of her students, they will laugh and definitely say, ‘Nope, she’s the best!’”
Murphy’s reputation is just a mask for the type of person and the type of teacher she truly is. She has a heart for her first graders, and all she wants to do is help them learn and to leave as better people than the first day they entered her classroom.
“Her love of books and reading shines through the children,” another parent added. “Not only has our child’s ability to read, and pride in this, grown exponentially this year, but so has her excitement to find and share new stories.”
The thing about Murphy is she is not just focused on helping her students grow, but she focuses on growing herself. She is always looking for ways to incorporate newer and better materials into the classroom, and she is always looking for ways to make sure her students are taken care of before anything else.
“Ms. Murphy’s passion for literacy is second to none,” exclaimed Mr. Osmond, Roosevelt’s esteemed principal, “She brings stories to life with thoughtful engagement and enthusiasm. She holds her students to the highest standards and helps them achieve through strong support and consistency. She’s an integral part of our first-grade team!” And others are quick to agree.
“She cares,” the parents said. “She cares about each of her ‘babies.’ She wants them to be successful. She gets to know each one of them. She knows who needs a push, who needs a break, who needs more help and who just gets it.”
Murphy is a selfless teacher who is focused on the good of her students at all times, and it is no wonder why so many colleagues, students and parents alike want to celebrate her every day. They appreciate her and acknowledge all the time and effort she puts into her students’ learning, and she is loved by so many.
“I like when she reads books to us and the way she teaches,” Samuel Leitner said. “I learned a lot from her.”
“I learned the most from her,” Ash said. “She taught me more than any other teacher. She taught me how to read completely.”
“She’s a good online teacher,” Sky said.
“Ms. Murphy pretends to be the meanest teacher, but she is really nice, cool and makes me laugh,” Samuel added.
“Short story short… I love her,” another student added.
“I love her because when she had been reading Harry Potter, she gave us chocolate coins to nibble on,” one final student concluded.