Ms. Elizabeth Murdocca
A native New Yorker, Ms. Murdocca spent her high school years in Vancouver, Canada. She also began her college work in Canada before returning to NY to complete her BA in English with a minor in Dance at Queens College. She then went on to earn an MA in English Literature at Queens College. She continues her education with courses that interest her and will improve her work as an educator.
Prior to Molloy, she worked at The Mary Louis Academy for a number of years. Upon leaving TMLA, she took a year off to discern her next career move. For a while, she considered working as a pharmaceutical sales representative. In the end, education won out and we have had the good fortune to have her on our faculty for the past eight years. When she interviewed for the position she expressed an interest in developing a Dance Team and Club program here at Molloy. She had worked in Dance with TMLA, and knew that if there was interest here, she would like to work with our students. The interest was there and she has developed a highly competitive Team and Club program which provides an artistic and creative outlet for many of our students.
Liz enjoys working in a coeducational environment. Having worked in a single gender school, and now at Molloy, she sees the value of men and women learning together. Her contention is that coeducation has encouraged the men of Molloy to learn not only the academic and athletic aspects of life, but also the social skills it takes to live in the real world today. Another reason she enjoys Molloy is the discipline that comes with teaching in a Catholic, Marist high school. It enables her to get the most from her students.
The use of technology came up in our conversation and her perspective on it was most interesting. She did not grow up with technology the way that her students have, but has adapted to the point where between her and her husband at work and home they have five computers. She likes the classroom management programming and the use of SmartBoards™ in the classroom. Her dream would be for more of our students to begin to demonstrate their technological skills in presentations and research work. Realizing that her students will use more technology throughout their lives, she wants them prepared for the world in which they will live and work.
Her concerns for the students include: better time management skills and a more responsible use of the “free period” many have in their schedules. It would be wonderful if there were additional elective courses designed to better prepare seniors for the rigors of an independent life in college. When it comes to classroom teaching she would like to work on interdisciplinary collaborations between faculty members.
As we ended the interview I noticed that she was reading The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams… she mentioned that she was reading it for the fifteenth time. Like our students, each time you go back to read and understand a book you find something new to think about. This is typical of our teachers at Molloy, they are always looking at courses and our students to discover new ways to get the most from them.
When asked, “What is the best thing about Molloy?” her answer was quick and certain - “Our students are the best thing about Molloy”. She enjoys how they challenge each other. That might explain why when our students become alumni, they live the motto Not for School — But for Life, each and every day.