Mandy Bolkin – Science

Mandy Is In the Lab

What first drew you to teaching? Oh, this one is easy – my mom.  She is a teacher and she has been teaching for over 40 years now.  I always went to school with her during my school vacations growing up and spent a lot of time in her classroom.  I was in awe of her and everything that she did and I wanted to be just like her.  I even used to play teacher at home with my stuffed animals.  It was impactful to see all of the lives that she touched and I knew that I wanted to do the same thing so I decided to pursue a career in teaching.  It was the best decision I have ever made!

As one of the science teachers at Wise School, what differences have you found between the role of a general classroom teacher and the role of the science instructor? Having experienced both, I would say the biggest difference is that in my new role I really get to focus in on one topic and expand on it.  As a general teacher, I was always focusing on so many things.  Now that I have one subject to teach, it really allows me to dive in and to elaborate.  I also love this subject and I think that rubs off.  The kids really love coming to visit the science lab and I enjoy that enthusiasm.

What do you do when you aren’t in the lab? I stay pretty busy.  When I am not at school, working on my Master’s degree, working at the Temple, or leading summer camp programs, I like to spend time with my family and friends.  Every weekend, I watch movies with my family – it’s our bonding time.  I am very close with my family, so our time together is very important to me.  I also just like catching up with friends.

I hear you have an interesting hobby that most people may not know about… I am a celebrity trivia enthusiast!  I was even on an episode of “Celebrity Name Game” earlier this year with a friend and we competed against celebrities to show who knew more about celebrity trivia.  I also have a photographic memory which helps me a lot during carpool here at school!  It is easy for me to put a face to a name, and at carpool, a car too!

What is a word you might use to describe yourself and why? I would say caring.  I am very close with my family and I always strive to show my loyalty to my friends.  I appreciate that I have a strong support system and I also want to provide that for people who are close to me.  I show that I care about my job by my level of dedication.  I am driven to always perform at my best.  Right now, I am working my way through a Graduate Program through the University of San Diego.  It has a focus in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and it is really exciting to apply what I am learning to the development of our new science curriculum here at Wise School.

Likes and dislikes – what are yours?  I can’t think of any dislikes right now, but I love rainbow sprinkles.  I am also big into new technology.  I love finding new apps and am constantly utilizing all sorts of social media to stay connected to friends and family.

Any apps or websites you would recommend? I am a teacher, so of course I like Pinterest.  As for apps, I have an educational Twitter account that I use solely to follow educational posts.  There’s so much out there for teachers now, and I do my best to utilize it all as much as I can!

 

Mandy enjoys a relaxing moment in the lab.