B.A., Rutgers University
University of Freiburg (Fulbright Scholarship)
M.A., University of Massachusetts, Amherst
M.L.S., Rutgers University
Spend five minutes with Richard Murphy and you will find that his quiet, unassuming attitude hides a keen sense of humor and an intelligence that astounds without intimidating. His joy of working with others makes the classroom a natural place for him.
Mr. Murphy began his career by teaching English as a Second Language in a German vocational school for two years. Since that time, he has taught Spanish, French, and German at a variety of school throughout the northeastern U.S., including schools in Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.
In working at a variety of private, boarding, and public schools, Mr. Murphy gained experience in teaching much more than just Spanish, French, and German. He also taught algebra and geometry, and a bit of Latin. (It’s even rumored that he snuck in an Italian class or two.) As Mr. Murphy is a former dorm parent and assistant coach for tennis, soccer, and baseball, R-MA students will find it easy to relate to him in and out of the classroom.
Mr. Murphy has proven fearless as he pursued various languages and broke the limitations of long-standing beliefs. During his time at the Forman School in Connecticut, he developed a foreign language program for dyslexic students. In his position at Cape Cod University, a group of students (and faculty as well) wanted to learn Mandarin. Mr. Murphy organized a group of Chinese students to teach the language during a lunch period.
“I like it when Americans break through the stereotypical mold of being monolingual,” he said. “Languages are all connected. If you can learn one, you can learn others.” Quoting Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, he added, "He who speaks only one language sees the world through one eye."
With a goal of hitting all four essential skills—speaking, listening, reading, and writing—he incorporates a multi-faceted approach in his classroom, using music, culture, movies, and literature. His own excitement for language is an underlying motivator for students as well.
“In my classroom, we never lose sight of our goal, and that is to acquire a skill, not get a grade,” he explained. “You never know when you’re going to need it.”
It was a long move from New Hampshire to Virginia, but Mr. Murphy’s desire to return to private education and relocate to a warmer climate, along with his appreciation for the area, made it an easy decision. “I’ve been through here and thought it would be a beautiful place to live,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to live near the ‘Trail of the Lonesome Pine'.” His leisure activities include traveling and photography, and living in Front Royal has placed him in an ideal spot to do both.