MONTARA(KRON)—KRON4 is honoring Leah Murray as our Teacher of the Week.
Leah teaches 4th grade at Farallone View Elementary for the Cabrillo Unified School District in Montara.
Leah Murray believes things don’t get much better than a good book and a nice cup of tea…
It’s a recipe for success for her 4th graders.
They’re learning to ‘love’ the power of reading.
Recess at Farallone View Elementary School meaning lots of ball games catching up with friends and Kieran doing his famous magic tricks.
But when it’s time for Ms. Murray’s 4th graders to head back into the classroom, no one’s complaining.
She tells them to pick a “just right book” because it’s Friday and the focus is reading.
Not just reading, but ‘reading intensely’
“I see students reading so intensely, that they’re not even looking up from their books,” Murray said.
If you’re in Leah Murray’s class, you’re surrounded by books.
Everywhere you look cartons and stacks and shelves of them.
You’re encouraged to read what you want and get lost in the story.
She doesn’t just want students to be ‘able’ to read, but she wants them to love it.
“It’s just such a wonderful part of life, it would be so sad if they didn’t get to enjoy that,” Murray said.
What could make it even better? Afternoon tea parties.
On Fridays, everyone gets a steaming cup of their favorite tea adding to Leah’s plan to create a sense of excitement and ‘love’ around books. It could become a lifetime habit.
“They could curl up on a rainy day with a cup of tea even when they’re 20, 30, 40 and beyond and remember being in 4th grade and doing the same thing,” Murray said.
Farallone View Elementary School Principal Cesar Gaytan praised Murray for encouraging her teaching style.
“Just the tone of her voice, the music that she plays and the way she addresses her class,” Gaytan said. “It’s just incredible.”
Murray cites her love of teaching from her own teachers.
“I adored my teachers!!” Murray said. “I just thought they were perfect.”
This is what happens when a little girl grows up and wants to be just like the teachers she adored to recreate her own sense of magic and joy in the discovery of a good book.
Reading a book is never assigned as homework in Ms. Murray’s class.
She says it’s not necessary. Her students now reach for a book for the sheer pleasure of it.
Here is the winning nomination:
Why are you nominating this educator?: Where do I start? Mrs. Murray’s kindness, compassion, and deep respect for each and every student shines in everything she does.
For example, she has Tea Time every Friday afternoon. The parents and family members were invited to participate last Friday and I got to be a part of it; I can understand why the kids love it so. This ritual is designed to encourage a love of reading, among other things. She begins by reading a book to the class. The books she chooses are carefully chosen for their positive and empowering themes. The children then make their tea and select a spot in which to read books of their own choosing. Mrs. Murray plays soft music and she reads her own book, circulating around the room to get tea refills for the students, or help with anything they need.
Mrs. Murray goes above and beyond to ensure each student’s success. She and the children were such warm and welcoming hosts and you could see how much this weekly event means to the children.
I cannot express our appreciation enough for what she has done for our student and she is the type of teacher that you wish your student could have through college. Her support and excellent teaching techniques have made all the difference for our family.
She deserves to be teacher of the year! She certainly is to us.