Pat Murray’s great interest in teaching math spans more than thirty-one years. From his early days tutoring students whilst he was still at College, through his long career teaching in high school, and now through to his current role as founder of CTCMath, Pat has always been keenly interested in helping students of all abilities strive to reach their full potential.
At 19 years of age, Pat got married and chose to turn down a lucrative football contract. Pat wasn’t convinced the life of a football pro was going to be very conducive to married life.
Pat and his wife Maree have been married now for 27 years and have been blessed with ten children — five girls and five boys — so we figure he made the right choice.
Pat has been able to, via his math teaching programs, help students now numbering well into the tens of thousands in Australia, in the United States, the UK, and other parts of the world.
When quizzed about the advantages of taking a multi-sensory approach to teaching, Pat is strong in his beliefs:
“Any time you can engage students on multiple levels, where you encourage students to use some or all of their senses, the level they understand, how much they can retain, all of this increases significantly. This is one area where the experts have got it right.”
One of Pat’s biggest criticisms of education today is where teachers take too long trying to explain something.
“Some teachers can take upwards of 15 minutes teaching even a simple concept. It’s so boring it could send a whole army to sleep. Far better, and this is the method I prefer, is to teach the concept in about 4 minutes, and get the kids to practice it for the next 11 minutes. Same 15 minutes. But this time around, the kids have actually learned something. And have a much greater chance of recalling it later on.”
Pat and his family live in beautiful Sydney, Australia and can well relate to the joys (and frustrations) of homeschooling.
“It’s both very rewarding and a challenge having a large family and certainly gives me an insight into some of the difficulties parents encounter with raising and educating their kids. I would never claim to be an outstanding parent - I'll let my kids be the judge of that (once they reach about 30 years of age and hopefully have some kids of their own). However I am happy to recognise and acknowledge that I have been given a genuine gift to help as many kids learn math as I possibly can.”
Patrick Murray with wife Maree and their ten children