Teacher Spotlight - Mrs. Rich (Ruby Spanish/French)
Conducted by: Suhani Kapil
I interviewed Mrs. Monica Rich, the world language teacher on Ruby. She currently teaches both Spanish and French. Here are her captivating responses to my questions!
If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be?
"Great question! So, I actually really like my job. I knew I wanted to be a teacher - specifically a world language teacher - when I was in 7th grade. But if I had to choose something else...maybe an interior designer? Or a flower farmer."
How would you compare school now to when you were in middle school?
"Kids are waaaaaaaaay more tolerant now. You could not be anything other than a white, heterosexual, middle or upper middle class, sporty kid to be fully accepted in my middle school on Long Island. If you weren't thin, blonde, rich and straight you had a really tough time socially. While I still think middle schoolers can be pretty mean to each other, I think they are much more tolerant than they were in the 1980s and 90s."
What was one of your most interesting/weird days as a teacher?
"Years ago, my French AP class did presentations about a country and they had to bring in a food item for everyone to try. I had an exchange student from Vietnam at the time, and he was presenting on his own country since it was a former French territory. He brought in a coconut soup that had gelatinous globs in it. It tasted good, but none of us could figure out what the globs were. In English he said, "They are LEECHES". Several students turned white and one girl almost threw up. In the end, we finally figured out that he meant the fruit LYCHEE, not the blood-sucking invertebrates. That memory has stayed with me for 17 years. LOL."
What do you like doing in your free time?
"I spend a lot of time talking to my kids, listening to music, working on house and farm projects. I worked on a crew team for the city of Hartford. I train indoors all winter and spend a lot of the spring/summer/fall on the Connecticut river."
What’s something few people know about you?
"I'm a decent self-taught carpenter and have built lots of furniture and done repairs in our home."
What’s your unpopular opinion?
"I do not like pasta."
What is the best gift you have ever received?
"My husband gave me a puppy for Christmas in 2018. An animal as a gift will always trump any other gift!"
If you were a superhero, what powers would you want to have?
"Invisibility. And the ability to fly, of course."
What type of music are you into?
"Oooh - I LOVE MUSIC! I love all kinds of music, except maybe country. I went to high school in the early 1990s, so grunge will always hold a special place in my heart. All my babysitting money went to going to concerts like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Red Hot Chili Peppers. My husband and son play a lot of classic rock. The whole family likes Cake. My older siblings were all into 70s & 80s punk when I was growing up, so I love The Clash and The Ramones. My oldest daughter got me into Hozier, Lord Huron, Phoebe Bridgers, the 1975, among others. My 6th grader plays a lot of SZA, Doja Cat, Sabrina Carpenter, The Weeknd, etc. SO MUCH MUSIC! And not nearly enough time to listen to it all!"
Stay tuned for more interviews with teachers!