Get to Know Pt. 6: Mr. Ruderman
Updated: Oct 16
Mr. Ruderman is a new teacher at Parker School this year teaching students from 7th-11th grade. Before Parker School he attended medical school, where he studied to be a doctor. Because of his unique qualifications, he has taught various classes such as biology, anatomy and physiology, English, and history. He grew up in north LA and went to an independent school called Crossroads for both middle and high school. Later, he graduated from UC Berkeley.
He became a teacher after he took a break from medical school. During this time, he reflected on what his life may look like if he continued to pursue a career in medicine, and he ended up on Oahu teaching at Punahou school. He chose to continue teaching instead of continuing to pursue a medical degree because he says “it just felt right.” Instead of looking at whether you will like the job and will be good at it, he says that it is necessary to look at how it fits in your life.
Mr. Ruderman enjoys working as a teacher because it gives him free time that he can spend with his family, a perk that many other jobs are unable to provide. When deciding whether or not to return to medical school, he saw many people whose lives were inevitably controlled by their careers as doctors. Therefore, though he thought he would have enjoyed the work and done it well, being a teacher was better for what he wanted his life to look like.
Coming to the Big Island was a big choice for his family after previously living in Honolulu and LA. He and his wife knew that they wanted to live in a small town where being a biracial couple wouldn't be impactful on everyday life. Where he and his wife previously lived in Minnesota, his wife was the only Asian woman in the town. They wanted their son to grow up in a place without feeling uncomfortable about the way he or his parents looked.
In middle school, Mr Ruderman liked to wear brushed cotton polo shirts paired with two toned corduroy shorts. He would then add knee high striped sports socks with a pair of Adidas Stan Smith Shoes.
Mr. Ruderman says that his most embarrassing high school memory was being mean to some kids. He says he was incredibly insecure in high school and tended to take it out on other kids who may not have dressed or acted “normal.” While in high school he took a job at the local mall and worked at a clothing store called Miller's Outposts, a place that he was later fired from. As of now, the majority of his closest is either purchased from Amazon or Volcom. While he is pretty minimalistic with his fashion choices, he has an adamant tradition called “aloha croc Friday” where he wears aloha shirts and crocs every Friday.
He is a teacher well loved by students even though he has been teaching at Parker for less than a year. If you enter his classroom you will always find it filled with students of all grades and ages. He loves kids, and he has an 8-year old son of his own. Even though Mr. Ruderman has only been here for a short period of time, he fits right in. It is clear that he has a passion for teaching, and he loves the job that he has today.