Getting to Know: Mr. “Prof” Rodriguez

Mr. Rodriguez is one of Seton Hall Prep’s newest teaching additions.  One can often recognize students of Mr. Rodriguez by students calling him “Prof”.  The term “Prof” is short for professore in Italian.  The South Jersey native is a Rutgers University alum and is very passionate about both the Italian and Spanish languages.  He loves working with younger people every day and helping them to navigate the ups and downs of the daily high school grind.  His enthusiasm for languages and culture is what sets him apart from every teacher at the Prep.

Prof’s biggest role model in his life was his grandfather.  His grandfather came from Calabria, Italy and his love and compassion for his family is one of his best qualities.  According to Prof, his grandfather’s work ethic was unparalleled and is one of the key factors to becoming Mr. Rodriguez’s role model.  A fun fact Mr. Rodriguez shared with his Italian class was that his grandfather partook in Confession with Padre Pio (yes, THE Padre Pio) as his priest.

When asked about picking any other career besides teaching, Prof still said teaching.  His love for his job of teaching makes Prof enthusiastic about coming into work every day.  Seeing his students learn and discuss Italian every day puts a smile on Prof’s face.  Mr. Rodriguez’s class is loose enough to create bonds and laughs with the students and teacher, but perfectly tight enough to come out of the class learning something new about life and Italian every time.

The daily agenda for Prof begins with a 7:00 arrival at SHP.  Organizing lessons for his students, making copies, and other activities are how Mr. Rodriguez starts his day.  A daily activity the new Italian teacher partakes in is going to Mass in the Chapel.  A cup of coffee and lesson plans are all Prof needs to begin his school day.  After a busy day, Mr. Rodriguez departs the Prep at 3:00 and repeats his process for the new day ahead of him.

According to Prof, his biggest strength that he implements into his classes daily is his enthusiasm and passion for language.  Another aspect that makes Mr. Rodriguez unique is his close age gap with his students.  Younger teachers have a tendency to be more understanding of a student’s during and after school life.  Prof also remembers what his life was like when he was in high school, causing him to recall the joys and struggles of a modern-day student.

On a lighter note, Prof’s favorite meal is steak and potatoes.  Despite not being a devout sports follower, he grew up supporting the Jets and Mets.  If Mr. Rodriguez was to win $10 million dollars, he would buy a vacation home in Italy, specifically in his grandparents’ hometown.  His favorite superhero is Aquaman.