A Different Type of Math Teacher

Story by Laura Simmons, Walker Valley Junior

There a few math teachers that express actual interest in the subject of their field, and the number that do so greatly benefit their students. Mr. Greg Todd, who resembles a character off a popular TV show Breaking Bad, is a good example of an enthusiastic math teacher who truly enjoys engaging with students.

Question: Where were you born- where did you grow up?

Answer: I was born in San Diego, California, and I was the third out of four children. The last three all born in the same hospital, same room.

Question: What was your hometown like because Cleveland can get kind of boring?

Answer: Well, I lived in San Diego and I moved around a lot because my dad was in the Navy. But, by the time I was in the fifth grade we moved back for good so I finished the rest of school there.  We had the beach. We also had great weather even though it does have its cold days. It’s a very big city though, with its own professional football and baseball teams. I am very passionate about the Padres and the Chargers.

Interestingly enough, even though Mr. Todd is a big sports fan, he never participated in school sports because his school was very small and did not have teams.

Question: So you like sports?

Answer: Yep, I do. I love watching football, but I’m year round passionate about baseball.

Question: So, you said you were the middle child?

Answer: Yes, I was the third of four,” he explained. “I was the middle child and we were all very close, like we were all in 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade in that order. My younger brother was only 9 months 3 weeks younger than me, and my sister ahead of me was only eleven months and a week older than me. Therefore, we were all very close.”

Question: What was your home life like?

Answer: After giving the question some thought Mr. Todd replied with, “You know academics was important to my parents, but they didn’t stress any specific direction. They just wanted me to get good grades. My mom only finished tenth grade, and my dad finished high school and then joined the Navy. Not until later in life did my dad get his college degree, and you know I did the same. I was an adult, about fifty one years old, when I got my college degree. So educationt was important to my parents and they made me do my homework, but they didn’t stress it mainly because my mom didn’t finish. So it was important to them for me to finish.”

Question: Did you enjoy school? Like when you were in high school through college did you enjoy or not enjoy it?

Answer: Yes, I very much enjoyed it, mainly because I am a very social creature and that’s where all my friends were. I went to a small private school so we were all very close. I had a graduating class of fifty-one, so there was a strong bond between us.”

Question: How did you become a teacher?

Answer: I didn’t grow up wanting to teach, I really didn’t. But after I graduated high school, I went into marketing doing jobs that did not require a degree. I sold copiers and things like that. I ended up feeling called to go teach kids. It’s a God thing, you know, and I wanted to reach out to kids. Not just any kids but high school kids. So I wondered why I wasn’t doing that. Now, becoming a math teacher, I mean shoot me in the face. No one wants to go to school with a math major and get a degree for that. But I was offered money to do that because of the assurance of having a job after all the work.



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