Bruce Rich: from coaching to teaching

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Bruce Rich: from coaching to teaching

Bruce Rich

Bruce Rich

Bruce Rich

Bruce Rich

Varshini Ramanathan, Sports Editor

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For the first time, football and wrestling coach Bruce Rich will be staying at Westford Academy full-time, now as both a sports coach and a teacher. Rich, whose new post is in Special Education, hopes to connect with his students inside and outside the classroom this year.

Rich has been teaching for six years, although he has been coaching at Westford Academy for the entirety of his career. Previously, he worked at Tyngborough High School, a behavior school in Dracut, and the Perkins School for the Blind.

“[Perkins] was eye-opening. It was great,” he said in reference to his time working with severely handicapped students. “It taught me a lot about myself and about the field of Special Education.”

However, he’s glad to be back at a high school because he ultimately wants to teach and coach at the same place. He is fond of both Westford Academy’s students, faculty and administration, but is especially impressed with the vibrant after-school atmosphere.

As both a teacher and a coach at WA, Rich now has the chance to see and interact with his students inside and outside the classroom. The environment and therefore the students are completely different, and he enjoys being able to view both of these “sides”.

“Seeing them like that makes it really worthwhile,” he said. “[The after-school atmosphere] is one of the main reasons I came over here […] when the bells rings in Tyngsborough, it turns into a ghost house. No one’s there. But here at Westford Academy, it’s like a college campus. The kids don’t leave.”

Rich was drawn to teaching partially because of his parents, who are both teachers. His mother works at Stony Brook, also in Special Education, and his father teaches Physical Education. He realized his passion in high school, where he volunteered at a Special Education summer camp.

“I knew then that I wanted to work with this population, that I could laugh with them and have fun with them […] that’s why I wanted to do it,” he said.

Within the field of Special Education, Rich values being able to form relationships with his students. He also looks to have mutual trust with his students, considering it essential to connect fully with them. He cites getting to know students personally as his main method of teaching successfully.

In his class, Study Skills, students work towards set goals but are also able to be comfortable in a school environment.

“I want them to feel comfortable asking me for advice, and help, and things like that,” he said.

Rich describes himself as easygoing and pleasant to work with. Although he’s been getting lost in the school’s expansive hallways, he is quickly familiarizing himself with the daily routine at WA.

As for goals during his time here, he hopes to form strong relationships with students and staff alike.

Outside of teaching, Rich enjoys watching TV sitcoms, particularly Game of Thrones.

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