Hello Mr. Roth — can you please tell us what you teach?
I teach Middle and High School Math, specifically Math 7, Integrated Math 1 (8th grade), Geometry, Business Math, and AP Calculus.
Why did you decide to become a math teacher?
I was undecided when I first went to college, but I tutored friends of mine in math which lead me in that direction. I always enjoyed math and found it easy and logical. I like helping people, so it was a perfect fit — plus, in my senior year of high school, I saw what my calculus teacher did and thought “I can do his job.”
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
The challenges can change from one day to another, but I would say the greatest challenge is keeping up with the paperwork. I understand the need for it, but since I have five different classes, I have to prepare five different lessons each day.
What is the best part about being a math teacher?
I get to share my love of math with my students. I love solving problems, so I like to challenge others to foster that same love. Plus, if I make a grammatical error I can just say I’m a math teacher, not an English teacher.
What advice would you give for anyone experiencing difficulty in math class?
Always remember that math was invented to make difficult things simple, not simple things difficult. (I know it may not seem like it sometimes.) It is a series of rules which must always be followed. Then it is just applying those rules to different circumstances and with different conditions.
Where did you go to school?
I went to Shaler Area which is a little north of the city.
What college did you go for your teaching degree?
I went to Duquesne University for my undergrad work where I got a Bachelors in Mathematics and a Bachelors in Secondary Education, and Point Park University for my Master’s in Teaching and Leadership program.
I know that you are interested in photography — can you tell us a little about that?
I do what’s called tiled photography. Essentially, you take a bunch of zoomed-in pictures of the same place, and then put the pictures together to form the bigger picture. You can see the individual pictures but also the larger picture at the same time. This is one I took from the North Shore.
I always see that you wear a different tie every day. How many ties do you have?
I haven’t counted but I would guess it is about 130 :)
Where’s the most interesting place you’ve been?
I used to live on the eastern shore of Virginia, specifically on Chincoteague Island. Living there was so different from living here. There was no rush hour, no public transportation, fog delays all the time, and a couple times we had to dismiss early because the tide was getting too high. I got to see a real rocket launch at Wallops Island Naval Base. I saw the water covered with smudges, which was baby jellyfish. I saw the sky blacked out with birds overhead, which was so loud that a tractor trailer truck drove by me and I couldn’t hear it. And lastly, it was a place where some people hitch-hiked to work every day.
Interview by Isaac Brown