Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Ruggeri


Micaela Eberly

Adjusting to school online has been challenging for many — students and teachers alike. Navigating the best ways to teach and learn without in-person contact seems daunting, but all in all, everyone has been showing Hampton’s true excellence in their dedication and effort.
One teacher who has been impressing his students with his transition to online learning is Mr. Ruggeri, who teaches Honors English 10 and Academic English 10.
Nearly every day, Mr. Ruggeri posts a new video explaining the day’s lesson, according to Kiana Kazemi (‘22), who said, “I think it’s really helpful to have a teacher explain a subject instead of giving us assignments to do with little explanation.”
Like many teachers with children, it can be hard for Mr. Ruggeri to film videos without his 3 and 5 year old children wanting to get close to the camera, but he says that he knew he had to get used to them making appearances. His students seem to like these guest stars. “I think it’s really entertaining, especially because they bring lots of energy to the videos,” said Kiana. “Plus, his children are adorable so it’s always fun to watch.”
To adapt to online learning, Mr. Ruggeri is allowing some students to participate in literature circles, in which they communicate with their peers and talk about an approved novel. While many use Zoom to talk, some have come up with creative options such as using Minecraft or other games for discussions.
To stay positive in the midst of quarantine, Mr. Ruggeri likes to include videos in his screencasts of the activities his family and he are doing, including making spaghetti pie and playing gator golf.
Fannie Ketler (‘22) adds that “he usually encourages kids to send videos and pictures of what we do to entertain ourselves at home, and sometimes he includes them in his own videos. He’s doing a great job at keeping things positive for kids who are struggling, and is a trustworthy, approachable teacher even with all this online craziness.”
Although there are a lot of changes without in-person teaching, there are many similarities between Mr. Ruggeri’s before and during quarantine lessons. The way his classes are being taught has changed; however, the students are learning about and discussing literature as if they were in class. “He has been one of the most steady teachers with the transition between teaching at school and online,” Fannie said.

With school ending in a few weeks, we will hopefully be done with the online learning and can meet in person in the fall. In the meantime, quarantine may slowly be lifted. Mr. Ruggeri hopes that “when we return: our social circles expand for the better, people stop being mean to each other, and we realize our actions right now (or the lack thereof) will echo. We should all be mindful of who will hear that echo and what they will think.”