Kate Murray, a second grade teacher at Waccamaw Elementary School, is September’s Rockin’ Jump Teacher of the Month and the reasons she earned the honor are easy to identify.
A Pennsylvania native, Murray is entering her 15th year as a teacher and her fifth here in Horry County, and her commitment to the kids she teaches is as strong as ever.
“The kids are definitely, without a doubt, my motivation,” Murray said. “They motivate me to be a better person and a better teacher on a daily basis! They are the most kind and caring individuals. I get to spend seven hours a day with some awesome kids, what more could be better? I love it when you see that ‘spark’ ignite in them. It definitely keeps you motivated to see them learning and sharing their excitement about learning with others.”
Murray’s commitment to her children has its roots in the impact teachers had on her life.
“My kindergarten and first grade teachers are what inspired me to be a teacher,” she said. “I was a homebody and really attached to my Mom as a little girl, so going to school was scary for me. My kindergarten and first grade teachers were the kindest, sweetest and most caring people, besides my mom. They took me under their wing and always went out of their way to make sure I felt comfortable at school.”
While Murray’s passion for the kids in her class made her a natural for Rockin’ Jump’s Teacher of the Month award, she was nonetheless surprised with the honor, as was her class.
“I was very surprised to win the award,” Murray said. “My class was beyond excited! They were yelling and jumping for joy. They couldn’t believe they were getting tickets for free jump time. They can’t wait to go.”
Murray is looking forward to sharing her jump time with a girl she mentors, but her focus will remain on helping pave the way for the kids in her class to thrive, even during a pandemic.
“It’s not about the rewards and the praise that we get, but it’s just knowing that you have touched a student’s life that is the greatest reward of all,” Murray said of what she finds most gratifying about teaching. “Which in turn gives me the passion and drive to be a dedicated teacher not only for the students in my classroom, but school and community as well.”
That’s why Kate Murray is Rockin’ Jump Myrtle Beach’s Teacher of the Month.