As an undergraduate student in New York University's Steinhardt School of Education's childhood education program from 2000-2002, Jenn experienced great exemplars of teaching when she was assigned to student teach at several District 2 schools: PS 234, PS 41, PS 77 and PS 3. In these vibrant, creative learning communities, Jenn's beliefs about teaching and learning, and love for mathematics were sparked by the thoughtful educators she encountered.
Jenn continued her passion for teaching and learning as a kindergarten and first-grade teacher at PS 261 in Brooklyn. In her ten years there (2002-2012), Jenn became a teacher leader and pursued her interest in mathematics education. As part of her continued professional development, Jenn attended workshops at Mathematics in the City (MitC), at the City College of New York, a national center for mathematics education funded by NSF. At this time, Jenn also pursued a graduate degree in childhood education at New York University, graduating in 2007. While at NYU, she was able to conduct an independent study focused on early childhood mathematics.
On her pathway toward mathematical leadership, Jenn apprenticed at MitC's 2006 Summer Institute under the guidance of Catherine Twomey-Fosnot, Director, and Antonia Cameron, Co-Director of the project. At this summer institute, Jenn was involved in planning, co-teaching, facilitating book study groups and providing feedback to participants' written reflections. Jenn continued her apprenticeship with MitC when, in 2007, she co-taught the early childhood component of the year long teacher leader/coach content course with Antonia Cameron. The focus of this course was to help teachers develop and deepen their content and pedagogical content knowledge, and explore the NCTM standards; the role of discourse in learning and what it means to the mathematical big ideas. Here, Jenn learned specific techniques for facilitating adult learning.
In 2006, Jenn's kindergarten classroom was chosen to be a lab-site for the NYC Department of Education's Collaborative Communities of Practice in Mathematics. Her first-grade classroom was also chosen to be a lab-site in 2008, 2009 and 2010 for Mathematics in the City's Teaching Learning Communities (TLCs). In this leadership role, Jenn hosted visiting teachers from across New York City, opening her classroom and publicly sharing her practice. In discussions with visiting teachers, Jenn was expected to plan and co-teach her lessons with the CCP's and TLC's director, Antonia Cameron. As part of this process, Jenn was also expected to reflect publicly on the effectiveness of her own teaching, to analyze student learning and to use evidence of student learning to plan her next steps in teaching.
Jenn strongly believes in the importance of early childhood education. Her collaborative approach to coaching is focused on helping teachers understand content, pedagogy and childhood development so that they can improve student learning. Jenn also believes it is essential to build a community of trust, and hopes that her infectious spirit and love of mathematics will transform everyone she encounters.
"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn."
- John Cotton Dana
Q: What are you most passionate about in education?
Starting, from the earliest grades, to build the foundation for math achievement. Developing a sense of inquiry, excitement and love of learning in students and teachers. And kids – all that they bring and all that they can do!
Q: What do you love about Metamorphosis?
The smart, kind and supportive community that has evolved is awesome! We think deeply together and lift each other up!
Q: What do you want to influence in education?
Changing our educational culture so that teachers and students are happy to reveal where they are in their journey and are comfortable being public and playful in their learning.
Thank you for all of the support you've given us and given me specifically during these past couple of years! You have grown my thinking as a mathematician and a teacher and a learner in so many ways.
- Hannah H, Teacher
PS 340, Manhattan, NY
You gave us a truly genuine experience about what it feels like to explore mathematical concepts. I am walking away from this experience realizing that the journey to the answer is much more important than the answer itself.
- Vicky Demetrulacos, PS 169 K
We have really enjoyed and learned so much this year from [you]. You most certainly did create a fantastic mathematical learning experience for our teachers. It was indeed transformational. [You have] really forced our teachers to think about mathematical teaching and learning in new and promising ways! We are so very appreciative of [you] and the Metamorphosis approach.
- Dr. Lynn Patterson, Associate Professor
Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education Murray State University