This month The Family and Learning Center celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary. But wait, it gets better. Director and owner, Bonnie Weiss, is celebrating ten years of dedicated leadership as the head of the TFALC team.
You might know that Bonnie Weiss is an Educational Therapist, but how did she get to where she is today? And what does Bonnie have planned for the future of TFALC? Here is your chance to get a behind-the-scenes peak into TFALC from Director, Bonnie Weiss.
Q & A with Bonnie Weiss
What’s the best part about being the Director of a learning center?
The best part is our positive impact. As a learning center, we can reach more students as a team than I ever could as an individual.
I also really enjoy training and mentoring our Educational Coaches. I’d love to have our coaches stay with TFALC forever, but I know when a coach leaves the center they will pass on knowledge and skills to other students, creating an even bigger impact.
Why did you become an Educational Therapist?
I’ve known since third grade that I wanted to be a teacher. But as I got older, I knew the classroom wasn’t the right fit for me.
In high school, I worked at a Kumon Learning Center and realized there were other teaching options beyond the classroom. I decided to major in Biology (my favorite subject), and planned to pursue a career developing science curriculum, ideally at a museum, aquarium, or zoo. During college, I volunteered at the Birch Aquarium and taught science with Mad Science.
After I graduated from college, I met Dr. Laverty and started working at The Family & Learning Center. I found my passion – working one-on-one with students where I could focus on helping each specific student succeed.
Speaking of school, what was your favorite subject? Perhaps a least favorite?
My favorite subjects were always math and science. I did really well in math until about Geometry and then it got much more challenging. With the help of a tutor, I was able to push through. By the end of high school (Pre-Calc/ Trig), I really didn’t like math anymore. In fact, I didn’t take any math my senior year. But then I took Calculus my freshman year of college and everything started clicking again.
I really enjoyed math, but science was my absolute favorite. I loved every science class I took, especially the biological sciences. I always found it so interesting to learn about all living creatures.
There weren’t any classes I truly disliked, but if I had to say least favorite, I guess it would be Art. I still can’t draw a stick figure. I love crafts and creating things, but I can’t draw or sculpt anything from scratch.
Looking forward, what does the future hold for you and TFALC?
Although I regularly get requests to expand and open more locations, I currently don’t see that in the TFALC future. I love being able to see all of our students, to know their names and recognize their faces as they walk past my office and head to their sessions. I want to stay actively involved with every student, and to continue to provide quality service to our students and families.
Additionally, I see the field of Educational Therapy continuing to develop and evolve. New research and information about the brain and the learning process continues to emerge which helps us develop and fine tune our approaches for working with students with learning challenges. I’m excited to see what the future holds as science advances!
What do you like to do away from the office?
I have two young kids at home, so most of my time away from the office involves doing things with them. We enjoy doing crafts and projects, and listening to music or dancing together.
As a family, we like to go to the Zoo, Sea World, and check out events happening around San Diego. I also volunteer as room parent in my daughter’s preschool class and help out with events at her school. When I get a little “me” time, I enjoy the quiet and relaxation of a mani/pedi. I recently joined a book club, and I’m looking forward to doing more reading.
Bonnie’s continued support and encouragement of the TFALC staff, our students, and families have created a solid foundation that will allow TFALC to continue its positive impact in the future. Happy anniversary to TFALC and Bonnie Weiss!