There are teaching roles that some people may not know about, for example, alternative education. You don’t hear about alternative education much, and I didn’t either until I met Mark Murray, a new alternative education teacher here at Oakland Mills.
During his student years, Murray was not the best when it came to grades, but he was an overall good kid. He participated in multiple athletics and clubs in school, including the golf team, track team, basketball team and even french club. He always made sure he was active and involved in many school activities.
Murray comes from a long line of teachers: his mother was a teacher and his father’s mother was one as well. However, he didn’t go into college at first wanting to be an educator, he originally went in for communication. Murray actually wanted to be in front of cameras and be on TV. However, that major didn’t last long due to him not liking excess reading or writing, a demand of the communication major. He ended up majoring in physical and health education since he enjoyed being active and on the go. That of major change in college, began his teaching career. Despite him getting into teaching, he also was an administrator and began taking classes on said career choice. He actually worked at Lake Elkhorn middle school and Mayfield Woods middle school as an assistant principal for thirteen years, was a physical education teacher at Talbott Springs elementary school and an alternative education teacher at Hammond as well.
He ended up getting out of administration and requested to work at Oakland Mills and almost immediately got the job here, becoming an alternative education teacher. An alternative education teacher gives academic and emotional support to kids to help them graduate. He’s more understanding than a tough and strict teacher, usually having pretty deep conversations and activities to get to know his students better.
Murray takes his time to get to know his students, watching them in the classroom and making sure they are doing their best. He gives them a bit of a push to help them, giving them more math equations if needed or quizzing them if needed. “ We try to push them a bit past their limits, “ he stated. Mr.Murray has kids of his own, four to be exact, who actually attend this school. He believes that because he has kids, it helps him teach his students the best to his ability while also putting his own insight into the way he teaches and simply just into the way he has conversations with his students.
Despite him being a teacher, he also can be a friend towards the students, being a safe space towards his students and having fun with them. He’s even taken the effort into learning new dances or trying to relate to his students so he can just feel closer towards the kids he teaches and let them understand that he’s still fun despite being an old head himself.
Murray himself is most definitely a teacher students can look up to for advice, help, or a simple conversation about their day. He tries his hardest to make sure his students succeed and get to where they are supposed to be in their high school career and onwards in life. He isn’t a tough or scary teacher, making his class room have a warm and welcoming vibe to it making whoever steps in never want to leave, which is actually what he expressed to me once the interview was over. Murray is a teacher that never gives up on his kids and make sure each child in his classroom is learning the best way they can and learning the way they are most comfortable with.
He strives to help each student of his and makes sure they know his room is a safe space for student and that he is there to not only listen to you, but to laugh with you as well. He’s new to this school but he already feels like he’s right at home with the staff and us students of Oakland Mills High school. Welcome to OMHS Mr.Murray, we’re happy to have you.