psm > education > mr. p's top ten FAQ

Are you *really* a teacher?

Yes. I was trained to be an educator, and I have degrees in Physics and Mathematics. I spent three years as a teacher from 1993 - 1997. I have taught in environments that range from inner-city (East St. Louis) to suburban (Boise, ID) and in both public and private school settings.

Why did you leave teaching?

My wife and I wanted to start a family, and could not make ends meet with a single income of one teacher salary. As a result, I needed to make more $$$, so I put my computer skills to use. More info about my career antics are available on my website.

Why did you return to teaching?

I love to teach. I very much enjoy the classroom and working with students, and hope to make a difference in many lives over the course of my career. For everything I have ever given students, they have given back to me and enriched my life ten-fold.

I hear you are pretty smart. Are you?

Well, smart is as smart does. You'll find that I make as many mistakes as the next person. I have, however, done pretty well at whatever I've decided to pursue. I have an open challenge to any student in any school I'm in - if you beat my score on the SAT, I will let you borrow my Porsche for Prom Night. (Wait... I don't have a Porsche...) My advice for learning? Don't be afraid to make mistakes.

I like your bald head. Should I shave my hair off?

My advice is to make the most of your hair while you've got it. However, I'd have to say that my bald head looks better than the mullet, ponytail, or flat top I sported when I was younger :-)

Do you have a family?

I have a great family. My wife, Stacie, and I have been married for 10 years, and we have a little girl, Kathryn, who is 3, and a little boy, Drake, who is 1. I love them all very much. (We are seeking babysitters if you are interested) We also have a Siberian Husky named Daisy.

What is the secret to your incredible physique?

I am an avid cyclist, skier, and snowboarder, and also enjoy spending time in the weight room, despite the fact that it doesn't really show. I credit the 160 pounds of lean mass I carry to the fun I have outdoors. What about the other 25 pounds? I credit Dairy Queen, Tootsie Roll, and Pepsi for that :-)

When am I going to use this stuff? (i.e. Mathematics)

Sometimes I answer, "You'll find this stuff indispensable when you grow up and become a Math Teacher." But I do understand that not every student will want to follow in my illustrious footsteps. So I offer a few facts:

  • "Math and Science" means "talented" in today's world. When employers or college recruiters sit down to separate the wheat from the chaff, they use your math and science talents to do it.
  • This is good practice for thinking. Baseball players don't use tee balls and underhand pitches in the big leagues, but they benefitted from using them to practice when they were younger. You may never use the quadratic formula in your future career, but you will benefit from having developed the skills to do so.

What's your team?

The Pittsburgh Steelers. I went to a game at Three Rivers Stadium a few years ago - It was almost like a pilgrimage! I've been a fan since I was six.

How do I describe you (as my new teacher) to my parents?

You be the judge of that! Whatever you think, please do tell your parents about your new teacher and have them feel free to call me with any questions they may have!