Rich Murray

Assistant Teacher, Third/Fourth Grade

MEd Elementary Education, Widener University
MBA Finance, Drexel University
BS Commerce and Engineering, Economics Concentration, Drexel University

I joined Miquon in September 2004. Most of my years here have been spent as a group teacher in a first/second grade classroom, along with one year in a first grade classroom, and one year as an assistant teacher in a second/third grade classroom. Currently, I am an assistant teacher in a first/second grade classroom. My teaching career began in public schools, where I felt that I wanted to have more autonomy in how I taught, and to have less of a focus on testing and accomplishing a certain amount of curriculum. I was intrigued by the Miquon School very much, and working here has proven to be a good fit for me over the years. The flexibility in how curriculum can be taught, meeting each child where they are, and adjusting classroom practices and curriculum for individual children has been very important to me, and it has made working at Miquon very rewarding.

Throughout my years of teaching, I have endeavored to create safe and secure environments for children, where they feel valued and connected. As I work with children, I learn the strengths and abilities of each child, so I have a sense of what I have to work with. There is a scene from the movie Apollo 13, just after an explosion on the command module. Mission control is in complete panic, where various flight engineers are shouting everything that is going wrong. Finally, the mission commander asks, “What do we have on the ship that’s good?” Total silence ensues for what seems like an eternity. Then the engineers spring into action and start to think about what they have to work with to help solve the problem. I strive to be aware of academic and/or social issues that arise during the year, while also becoming aware of the children’s strengths and abilities that can be used to develop solutions to those issues.

Prior to becoming a teacher I was involved in real estate property management managing office buildings in Center City Philadelphia. I earned a Master’s Degree in elementary education from Widener University, as well as a Pennsylvania Elementary Education Permanent Teaching Certification. I spent my recent sabbatical touring civil war battlefield sites, as well as completing professional development coursework related to recognizing and preventing bullying, working with children on the autism spectrum, and creating balanced literacy in the classroom for both reading and writing.

When I am not teaching, I enjoy reading at the beach, working in my garden, working on resurrecting a small sailboat neglected for many years, and preserving and canning fruits and vegetables. I live in Media, Delaware County, with my wife Mary; occasionally my son Patrick, who is a music teacher at his former middle school; when home on breaks, my daughter Megan, who is a nursing student at the University of Pittsburgh; and our miniature poodle named Fancy (named by the SPCA, but the name fits her).