Meet Midani: methods, classes and more


Michael Huang

MEAN, MEDIAN, MIDANI: Teacher Nicole Midani helps senior Ethan Nguyen with a difficult statistics concept.

Mei Ono and Varun Vishnubhotla

One of the newest members of the Northwood staff is Nicole Midani, who teaches Integrated Science 2, AP Statistics and AP Computer Science. In an interview with the Howler, Midani expressed her love for teaching and detailed the experiences that led her to be a teacher at Northwood.

Mei Ono and Varun Vishnubhotla: What are some of your past experiences that led you to be a teacher here?

Nicole Midani: I went to UCI for my undergrad with a major in math, and I specialized in mathematical physics. I also majored in philosophy and psychology with a minor in biology. I entered UCI’s Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program afterwards, which allows you to get a masters and a teaching credential in one year. The faculty there is amazing, and the teacher candidates that they fostered through the program are truly special people. I am still very close to a lot of my teacher friends from UCI, including Ms. Comtois and Ms. Chen, who were both part of MAT with me. I initially got a couple of offers from other schools within this district and Newport Mesa where I did my student teaching. The reason why I ultimately decided to come to Northwood was because everyone I talked to at UCI said that Dr. Roach was extraordinary and that this school and the students at this school were truly spectacular.

MO and VV: What do you love most about being a teacher?

NM: I love the students, first of all. I’m teaching IS2 and they’re a wonderful bunch of kids. My AP Statistics and AP Computer Science kids are thoughtful, intelligent and driven. It never ceases to impress me the things that a group of teenage kids are capable of. It gets me out of bed in the morning thinking, “Wow, these kids are going to change the world someday.”

MO and VV: What are some of your interests outside of school? NM: I scuba dive and do research at UCI, and I have played the violin for fifteen years. I enjoy eating as well, and I consider myself someone who lives to eat rather than eats to live. I like visiting different restaurants in my free time.

MO and VV: What do you think defines you as an individual?

NM: One thing about me is that I don’t do what everybody else is doing for the sake of doing it. I like to blur the boundaries between disciplines because who we are is often times characterized by a discipline we choose to go into, and I never liked that. So I always try to find the intersection between different disciplines like physics and psychology or philosophy and math, just to push against the idea that we have to make sense. I truly believe that I am under no obligation to make sense to anybody but myself.

MO and VV: What inspired you to dedicate your career to computer science or statistics?

NM: I always knew I wanted to be a math and science teacher, and I also love statistics. I want my students to not only have an understanding of the math, but be able to apply that ability to analyze and interpret things to any discipline they choose.

MO and VV: Do you have any advice for students in general?

NM: Come to me if you need anything, even if you’re not in my class. If you find yourself getting in trouble and if you need something, my door is always open. Don’t wait until it’s too late.