Rudesal ready to retire
If you have never had a chance to talk to Rosemerry Rudesal, AP U.S. Government, government and economics teacher at Hudson High School, make the effort to before she retires after the 2012 school year.
Out of college, Rudesal partook in many jobs before becoming a teacher. With a major in political science and political theory, she worked in a bank, at a trust department handling stocks and bonds and lastly, at a stock company.
When she a wanted change in her career, Rudesal decided it was time to head back to school to get her master’s in education. It was not until she was nearly 50 years old that she landed a job with Hudson City Schools.
Now, after teaching nearly 15 years in all, Rudesal is ready to close the book on a memorable educational instructing career at Hudson City Schools
What made you want to teach government?
I’ve always been very active in politics. I majored in political science and political theory.
Did you teach any other classes? Which was your favorite?
I’ve taught economics, still teaching economics, AP Government, government, sociology, Accelerated U.S. History and regular U.S. History. My favorite class is AP Government and government. I like government. I like economics too. It’s just that, in the beginning when I taught it, a lot of kids took it because they wanted to take it. Now, a lot of kids are taking it because it’s sort of like their parents are making them take it. But, government is my favorite.
What has been the toughest aspect of teaching in today’s world?
Well, I haven’t been teaching all that long. But, I think the changes that are going on in education in general. I think just pressure to cover more and more material in the same amount of time, the new technology they would like us to use, but then you don’t have time to learn the new technology. I’ve always wanted to do a website, but I’ve never had the time to do it. I think it’s just the pressure of new technology. But also, the state and national government keep putting more and more requirements, but we don’t have more and more time to teach it. I think that’s a problem.
If you could change one thing in the curriculum, what would it be? Why?
To put less emphasis on testing and more emphasis on interactive projects and writing. I think the regular testing sort of pushes the curriculum down to just the basic information.
For example, government has a good book, I think. It’s a year’s worth of curriculum, and we have one semester to teach it. When you have such a short amount of time, plus more emphasis on multiple choice testing so you can compare how your class is doing with the other classes, means less opportunity to go with the flow. Like, “Something happened in current events; I want to discuss that.” You’re trying to be on track with the other teacher as much as possible and ask similar questions and essay questions and projects.
What advice would you give to students who are interested in becoming teachers?
Right now I wouldn’t advise anyone to become a teacher unless that was what they definitely wanted to do. I just think education is changing so much; teachers may have less autonomy. Also, I think some teachers go into teaching because they love their subject. I went into teaching because I started volunteering with a friend of mine who taught over here, then I started working in the in-school [suspension room], and I really like kids.
Do you have any favorite memories at HHS? Explain.
My favorite memories are just my students—how close I got to some of them. Some of those memories are so personal and special that I can’t even share them with people. I’ll tell you one of the things that moved me the most, though.
Two years ago my former neighbor died. When I went to Laurel Lake [Retirement Community], her kids lived out of state, so when she went into hospice care at Laurel Lake they called me and said, “If you want to see her alive you need to come down here.” So, for two days I sat over there, all day and all night. When I came back to school after she died that weekend, I told my kids about her. I told them how special she was, how she made me a better neighbor and a better parent. She did so many things for us.
We went on a trip one time and my 80-year-old neighbor got out her snow blower and snow blowed my driveway. So, we had a service project to do for AP Government, and my students kept asking what they could do to help. I told them if they would like to do something to make me feel better, “When you do your community service project, go do something for someone who needs help.” That semester I had 37 students go to Laurel Lake for community service, and that meant so much to me. That is one of my favorite memories.
What are you looking forward to right out of retirement?
I’m looking forward to hopefully having some grandchildren. I’m looking forward to working in my garden; I have a really great garden, and I haven’t even started it yet. My dog died in February, so I’m looking forward to getting a new dog. Also, waking up past 4:30 in the morning. I know my husband and my son are looking forward to me doing some cooking. I’m a really good cook. And, reading something that doesn’t have to do with school.