Mihal Nozik decodes the language of science



Mihal Nozik is a multilingual chemistry and biology teacher at Carlmont High School.

“I think that when I was growing up, in the back of my mind, I knew I wanted to be a teacher,” said Nozik.



Nozik was born in the United States, however at a young age she moved to Israel, and then Belgium when she was 12, where she attended middle school and high school. After high school, she went back to Israel and finally settled in the United States again.

“I got my degree in biology and I worked in the biotech industry here in the U.S. and then I got my masters in business administration and I worked for the same biotech company in marketing,” said Nozik.

After taking some time off from work when her children were born, she felt the urge to become a teacher.

“I felt like I had done all of these things that I liked, but what I really wanted to do was to be a teacher, so then I got my teaching credentials and became a teacher,” said Nozik.

Nozik’s childhood experiences have given her a unique perspective for teaching and allow her to relate to students who do not speak English as their primary language.

“I had to learn a few languages when I moved so I understand how difficult it is for some students to learn a different language. I also understand how difficult it is for some students to get to know the vocabulary of science, which is very different from everyday language,” said Nozik.

Some of those languages she had to learn include Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Latin and Russian.

Sophomore Max Lieberman said, “Mrs. Nozik is really nice and understanding. She assigns just the right amount of homework so that we are not overwhelmed but we can also understand the material better.”

“Whenever I teach I start with thinking, ‘what would be the best way that the material would be clear to students?’ In my mind, I do a lot of planning and thinking ‘okay, what should I teach first, what should come next and how should I make this understood?’ I put a lot of emphasis on the planning,” said Nozik.

“She is a very nice and warm-hearted person. I like that she is very willing to help anyone who asks for it,” said sophomore Morgan Watson.

If Nozik wasn’t a teacher she would still work in the marketing and biotechnology field.

Nozik said, “I like the fact that I know the scientific part, but I also like the strategic thinking of marketing, I like both.”