Soul of 78-Dustin Murray

“I always knew I wanted to work with kids. I switched majors a few times, but I had two professors at Montevallo who really inspired me. When I began my student teaching, I was with middle schoolers and realized that was the age group that I loved. I know that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea – but now, I can’t imagine teaching any other age level. They are beginning to think deeper – they’re so impressionable, but still fun. Life is changing so fast for them and stability is critical, so if I can be a little bit of that, then I’m doing my job right.”

“Teaching changes you in every way. It really presses you. An older colleague once said to me that sometimes as teachers we are guilty of going ‘a mile wide and an inch deep.’ It’s so very important to stop once in a while and go a mile deep, instead of just scratching the surface or trying to cover every base. I strive to build meaningful relationships with my students, and to teach them to think critically. Because that kind of thing is going to transcend the classroom.”

“Forty years from now, they may not be able to tell me why the Roman Empire collapsed, but if I’ve taught them to think well, and to think deeply, that’s going to carry through into their relationships. That’s going to carry through into their marriages, into their friendships, and into their jobs. My hope is that they know that every day matters, that every day truly counts. Every word counts. Every single word we say has enormous power in a person’s life, for better or for worse.”

“My hope is that my students leave me with consciousness of how they speak to and treat one another. When you speak to someone like they matter, they are going to start believing that. At the end of the day, we can waste our life, or we can use this precious time that we’ve been given wisely. We can use it in meaningful ways, in ways that matter. Not for us, but for others. I think when you pour your life out for other people, you never leave empty – ever.”

“This job has taught me how much teamwork is important. I could not do my job without the help of my colleagues. Could not do it without a supportive administration. It’s so important to lean on one another because I may not be able to reach every kid, but if we’re freeing one another up to use our gifts, then between all of us together we’re going to impact the students. I spend two years with them – 7thand 8thgrade. That last day of 8thgrade is so intense because I’ve poured out my life for two years into these students and I’m really praying that they excel and live a life that matters and treat people like they matter. It’s a lovely and beautiful thing to get to watch those students grow up.”

-Dustin Murray, History Teacher at Carbon Hill Junior High School

Photo + Interview by Blakeney Cox



1 Comment

  1. Dustin is a great teacher who loves and cares for his students just like he loves us when preacher and more important is he love for Our Lord. Thank u Dustin for being an inspiration to us all

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