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Teacher of the Week: Robert Mullen Teaches Math

For his first-time teaching a class in a public school, Mr.Mullen is doing great to inspire and teach kids his passion: math. "If I wasn't a teacher I think I would be working in the math field. I would probably be working for a company doing data analysis and statistics." Math Teacher Mr.Mullen said.
For his first-time teaching a class in a public school, Mr.Mullen is doing great to inspire and teach kids his passion: math. “If I wasn’t a teacher I think I would be working in the math field. I would probably be working for a company doing data analysis and statistics.” Math Teacher Mr.Mullen said.

by Jaclyn Thompson, news editor

What inspired you to become a teacher?
I had great teachers when I was in high school and I greatly appreciated all of the help they gave me. I wanted to help students the way my teachers helped me.

Why did you chose this subject?
I initially chose mathematics because I was particularly good at the subject. I didn’t really enjoy the subject until I was in my junior and senior year of college. I began to grow more interested in the subject when I took some upper level math courses.

How many years have you been a teacher?
This is my first year being a teacher!

What teacher had impacted your life while you’re in school?
I had a math teacher in high school named Dr. Quay. He was an eccentric man from Ghana who had a very heavy accent. He was very serious but, occasionally, you would catch glimpses of his silly personality. He always treated his students as adults and held us to high standards. I think that helped me achieve in his class, and had a big influence on me becoming a math teacher.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a teacher?
If I wasn’t a teacher I think I would be working in the math field. I would probably be working for a company doing data analysis and statistics.

Has being a teacher changed you? For Better or for worse?
Being a teacher has definitely changed me for the better. I try to be a role model for my students and lead by example. I think that carries over into my life outside of school.

What are the ups and downs of being a teacher?
The downside to being a teacher is that it is an incredible amount of work. It is one of the few jobs in which you can’t leave work and not think about it until the next day. We have weekends and summers off, but we are always preparing lessons and materials for the future.

The upside to being a teacher is that it is very rewarding. It is a great feeling when your students succeed. In addition to being rewarding, teaching is a lot of fun. The upside certainly outweighs the downside.

Have your students impacted you as a teacher?
My students impact my teaching on a daily basis. I feel that it is my responsibility to engage them. If students are struggling with or flying through something, it is my job to improve the lesson or teach from a different angle.

Do you have [any] secret talents? If so what are they?
It may not be too much of a secret, but I’m a pretty competitive runner. I’m training to run the Philadelphia Marathon (my first marathon ever). I recently won the half marathon at the Adirondack Distance Festival in upstate New York. It was the first time racing that distance and the first large race I have ever won! It was a really great experience.

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