Getting To Know Our New Teacher Mr. Hein


Deven Irwin and Ryan Armstrong

Mr. Hein, a new teacher math teacher at Pinole Valley, shares with us, his experiences in high school and college, why he enjoys math, and what he likes about California so much. This interview was conducted by Deven Irwin, and transcribed by Ryan Armstrong.


H- Mr. Hein

D- Deven Irwin


D: What made you want to take a job in California, at Pinole Valley High School?

H:My teacher program assigned me to the Bay Area and then assigned to this district, WCCUSD. I knew I would love California because the weather and the chill vibes. I’ve been fascinated by California for a while because I went to college in St. Louis and it was not an exciting place but I kept hearing and seeing stuff about California. Then I went to a frisbee tournament in February and it confirmed why I wanted to come to california next.


D:What was your transition from Maryland to here like?

H:I graduated in May and drove my car to here in 2 weeks. I went to Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Salt Lake City and LA. It was an awesome roadtrip. Over the summer I did my teacher program which was very intense but I haven’t been back to Maryland since i have graduated.

D: Do you plan on going back ever?

H: I kinda want to go back for Thanksgiving but it’s so expensive. It is like $700 dollars, and it is giving more expensive.

D:What was your High School experience like?

H:I went to a really, really good public school that was super high achieving so everyone went to really good colleges, so that was very fortunate for me. I went to school with a lot of rich kids who were very preppy and standoffish, so i had my group of friends, that ran cross country together, but wasn’t very involved with the rest of the school. So I was very focused on the stuff we were doing, but as far as a wider audience, I only hung out with my closest friends. I feel like I’ve changed a lot in college, just going somewhere new changes you a lot, and meeting new people. I feel like you can be stagnate in High School because you finally realize that you can do something with your life.


D:When would you say that you got into the whole math scene?

H:Honestly I’m not into the whole math scene now. I was pretty good at math in high school. I was assigned to teach math, and I like math a lot. I studied Econ in college so math is relevant, but I’ve never been a math stud, and my friends all did better than me. I mostly got B’s in math in high school. I’m starting to appreciate math now that I’m a teacher, especially with statistics, because it is very engaging and there is so much you can do. Algebra 2/Trig is harder because it is kinda boring for the students and I feel bad about that. I feel bad for my Algebra 2 students because I know how tedious the work is and that you have to deal with knowing how to get numbers.

D:If you weren’t a teaching math, what other subject would you teach?

H:I think it would be really cool to teach English. I really do like teaching math though. I like it because a lot of students are very afraid of math, and i feel that i make them less afraid of it. I feel that my net impact on math is higher than it would be in other places.

D: Most students struggle with math, but a lot of students have told me that you make math easy, and fun to learn.

H:That makes me feel good. I just hope my class isn’t too easy but I’m working on that.

D:What do you enjoy to do in your free time?

H:I honestly haven’t had a lot of free time since I’ve started teaching. If I had more free time i would exercise, read, – I guess these are kind of just self help things. I’m gonna start the ultimate frisbee team. I’ve been throwing with students at lunch and it makes me realize how much I miss it. I also would like to do things involving music.  I like listening to music which is probably what I do with my free time the most.