Ellen McCrum

EMM Consulting, LLC

Who is Ellen?

In her fifteen years as an educator, Ellen McCrum has been a classroom teacher, an educational consultant, a workshop facilitator, a coach of coaches, and a college professor. Two words have shaped her educational career: curiosity and seeker (of knowledge). These have led her to develop an expertise in many different content areas that encompass mathematics, literacy, social studies, coaching, and leadership.
Ellen’s teaching career began in Manhattan’s progressive District 2 where she was able to develop a collaborative teaching structure among colleagues, coaches, and administrators and had opportunities to design and implement standards-based curricula for 4th and 5th grades. To support her own professional development, Ellen was selected to participate in workshops at Mathematics in the City(MitC), a highly respected NSF project co-directed by Antonia Cameron and Cathy Fosnot. It was at MitC that Ellen not only reconnected with the joy and creativity of mathematics, but also developed an understanding that mathematics is for all.

At this time Ellen became inspired to create mathematics communities in schools. How to make this a reality—how to give access to all children and create much needed equity—became a driving force in Ellen’s educational career. She became a coach to help teachers not only to learn how to teach math, but to also overcome their own fears and loathing about math content. Ellen’s insight into the connection of practice to beliefs and attitudes led her to coaching this content in a variety of NYC schools and contexts (e.g., coaching teachers, coaching coaches, coaching leaders).

In 2008, Ellen expanded her coaching work internationally when she led a staff development program at an elementary school in Kathmandu, Nepal. Over the course of a school year, living and working on site, she created a teacher development program that focused on content and effective pedagogy. Ellen continues to return there as a coach.

Ellen also teaches at the Bank Street College of Education, where she offers a graduate-level class on geography instruction. AND she is an advisor in the Math Leadership program where she supports the next generation of math coaches in their quest to transform teaching and learning.

Ellen’s career as a teacher, coach, and school leader has been grounded in the belief that collaborative communities where people can discuss, disagree, question and challenge each other’s ideas are the ultimate source of their empowerment. One of her abiding goals as an educator has been to create true learning cultures that reflect her deep commitment to excellence and social justice. She has been so highly successful developing these kinds of communities that the schools she works with renew their collaborations with her year after year.

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