Previously a math teacher at Northern Virginia Community College, William Ruffle now teaches at CHS. Ruffle has always had a passion for teaching whether it was tutoring classmates while working as a soccer coach in North Carolina or teaching kids in New Jersey.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
When I went to college, I was a math major and I always enjoyed helping my classmates. I also did student teaching and really liked that a lot. So, I decided that this is what I wanted to do. At the same time, I played soccer in college and the women’s soccer coach offered me a grad assistantship in which I could get paid to get my master’s degree in education. I really enjoyed my first year of teaching and I’ve been doing that for over 30 years now. Even when I was coaching soccer in college, I had a side job of tutoring people and helping people with math. I couldn’t stop doing it.
What was your favorite subject while you were in school?
If you asked me in high school, I would’ve said gym or something more fun like that. But I always enjoyed math.
Were there any teachers that inspired you to teach?
I had two great teachers, but they were not in math. I had some great English teachers that really inspired me, but I didn’t like teaching English as much as math.
For people that are interested in becoming a teacher, what advice would you give them?
I would ask them if they like helping classmates or want to help classmates when they see them struggling. [If you have] that kind of an instinct, then try teaching out. I know in Northern Virginia, they have all kinds of opportunities to tutor, so you can go into different math labs and math classes. If you like it, I would try to continue on, try to do more, try to become a teacher’s assistant and just experience it. If you love it, keep going. If you hate it, do something different. This is not a job you can do while you hate [it].
What are some hobbies that you work on outside of school?
I love soccer. It’s my favorite sport. I’m getting too old to play anymore but I still help coach. I know someone in soccer who will come and ask me to do a practice or something, so I do a little bit of that, but I do a lot of reading and walking now. Both of my kids are in college now so I’m starting to do more work around the house as well.