Ali Peacock

Allison Peacock Inc.

Who is Ali?

Ali’s passion for changing math teaching and learning is rooted in her own experiences as a learner. Her math learning memories were of all NO’s: No risk-taking; no thinking, (just memorizing); no questioning. For young Ali, asking questions became a sign of failure and not-knowing was shame inducing, this climate of fear did not make Ali a successful math learner.
Yet far from being squashed by those experiences, they strengthened her belief that no child should experience mathematics as she did. Instead Ali believes that true understanding is active, not passive. The learner constructs it, makes sense of it and is empowered by it. One of her primary goals as a coach is to liberate teachers who have had similar math experiences and find that they can actually find joy in teaching and learning mathematics.

Ali’s commitment to creating equitable learning experiences for all children grew out of her first teaching experiences teaching English Language Learners in Long Island, NY. Her work led to earning her initial Master’s Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. For the next 10 years she became a classroom teacher and worked with diverse groups in grades 1-5 in Jackson Heights, Queens.

On the road to becoming a math educator, Ali has had several transformative experiences. First, she had the good fortune to work with coaches from Math in the City (a math project housed at CCNY) and Metamorphosis Teaching Learning Communities. Her coaches from these organizations challenged her thinking and teaching practice, which nudged her toward using the math tools she once feared. She was encouraged not only to do math but to make her thinking visible to others. She quickly saw the impact of the role the teacher played in developing student autonomy and confidence. Her adult learning experiences ultimately led her to becoming a more reflective practitioner and a more confident teacher and coach of mathematics.

Ali also had the good fortune to participate in Bank Street College’s Math Leadership Program. This program propelled her into the role of math coordinator and coach at a progressive charter school in Long Island City. Here, she honed her chops as an educator of adult learners: she coached upper school teachers, led their professional development, and developed math curriculum.

Two guiding principles make Ali a well-respected and widely sought-after coach: the first is that all teachers can learn and the second is that a coach must support teachers’ learning in every way possible. Ali also believes in the power of inquiry and sees her role as a coach from an inquiry stance where she uses questioning to create a safe learning environment where teachers can play with ideas, try on new pedagogies, and learn publicly.

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