An Interview with Ms. Bonnie Shine

Massel: Where did you work before Ramaz?

Shine: I worked in Israel. For 18 years I taught in Nifti Heller high school in Israel, a reform movement semester abroad program. It is mostly American 11 graders who have to learn everything they are missing.

I also taught in a program called TRY, Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim. It is a similar program of a semester abroad that only has a spring semester.

Additionally, I taught in the Anglican International program in Israel. It is through the Anglican Church and it is mostly children of diplomats, reporters and wealthier Palestinians.


Massel: Where are you from?

Shine: I grew up in Brooklyn and lived in Israel–Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Modiin–for the past 20 years.


Massel: Where did you go to high school and college?

Shine: I went to Bronx High School of Science. For college, I went to SUNY Albany College.


Massel: Did you always love math?

Shine: Of course! It was definitely my favorite subject in school.


Massel: Why did you choose to teach math?

Shine: I had a degree in math and it just kind of stuck.


Massel: Have you ever taught any other subjects?

Shine: My first year in Israel I also taught English as a second language in an Israeli public school.


Massel: What is your favorite form of math?

Shine: I really like calculus and trigonometry. From a teaching perspective, calculus is a nice accumulation of all the math students have learned up to that point.


Massel: Where do you live now?

Shine: I live in Brooklyn. I have a husband and three children. They are ten, eight, and six years old. The older two go to ESS Yeshiva in Queens, and my six year old is in first grade at Ramaz.


Massel: Why did you choose to come back to America?

Shine: I came back to take care of my family.


Massel: Why Ramaz?

Shine: Its reputation precedes it! It’s a very known school and it is thought of to be a good school. I prefer to teach high schoolers.


Massel: Why do you prefer to teach high school students?

Shine: The math is much more interesting and I prefer the interaction with older kids than younger.


Massel: Whom do you teach at Ramaz?

Shine: Ninth, tenth, and twelfth graders.


Massel: How do you think Ramaz compares to your other schools in Israel?

Shine: Interestingly, it’s probably most similar to the Anglican school. Although the other schools are for American students, they are here to learn about Israel. The kids are not all coming from the same school so in one classroom there are many different levels of math. It’s a program with smaller classes that is more individualized per student.