BY: SOFIA DA MATA
In this issue’s recurring segment that gives students an opportunity to learn more about the teachers they see every day, staffer Sofia Da Mata interviews Geometry Honors and Regular teacher Lauren Bender.
1- What is the best part of teaching?
The best part of teaching is watching the students’ faces when they finally understand a concept in geometry. Their faces light up and that makes me happy.
2- Why did you choose the Bay?
Anyone who has worked in other schools knows that the Bay is the best. The students, faculty and administration work together to form a wonderful support system for all of us.
3- What is your favorite grade level to teach?
My favorite level is grade 9 because they are eager to learn and I am eager to teach them good study and organizational habits. Also, I enjoy teaching my students the fundamentals and expectations of geometry and high school in general.
4- What would you advise to incoming Geometry students?
Definitely to know your algebra. Geometry is algebra applied to shapes, so you need to be proficient in algebra in order to be successful in geometry.
5- Do you have a teaching philosophy, if so which one?
Work ethic is everything. All levels, whether or not a student is proficient in math, can achieve success with hard work. The students who pay attention in class, do extra practice as needed and complete all homework and classwork assignments will succeed in math courses, regardless of the level of difficulty.
6- “How do you usually celebrate the holidays and how has this been curtailed from COVID-19?”
I usually spend the holidays with my family in New York, but this year due to COVID-19, we will celebrate via Zoom instead. We will wait until next year to be able to celebrate the holidays all together again in a safe manner.
7- If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I am happy right where I am. I love raising my family in Weston. I love the Florida sunshine and the beaches.
8- What’s your life motto?
My motto is: “You can make excuses or you can make money, but you can’t make both.” This holds true to me because constant excuses lead to failure and hard work provides success. We might have to wait a long time for that success to come, or fail along the way, but we will never succeed by making excuses. Students tell me they want to be rich, but it’s the ones that have a great work ethic and give no excuses that will make it, not the highest IQ that just might get there because of these fundamental values.
9- What are your interests outside of the classroom?
I love going on Segway Tours, which are two-wheeled self-balancing personal transporters, with my family. We like going on them to explore unknown cities and see many interesting places in a short amount of time. We have gone to South Beach Art Deco tours, Fort Lauderdale tours, Mt. Dora and St. Petersburg. I also love to read, do jigsaw puzzles and go to Escape Rooms, which is where a team of players is locked up in a room and must collaborate to find clues or solve puzzles to get out. I love going to these Escape Rooms with my family.
10- With many holidays coming up, which one do you think is your favorite?
My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I am thankful for everything that I have, my family, my job, my home, my health and all of the opportunities that hard work has enabled me to help achieve my goals.