Jenn Costanzo

Advance Teaching Inc.

Who is Jenn?

Jenn Costanzo’s love for teaching and learning started as a kindergarten teacher in Brooklyn, NY where she developed a keen sense of how play should infuse children’s educational experiences. In her classroom, she used music and poetry to teach writing and math and the joyful sounds of her children filled the hallways. Jenn’s move from classroom teacher to teacher of teachers (a content coach, a coach of coaches and other leaders), has not diminished Jenn’s sense of humor and play as she engages with learners.

Jenn earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in childhood education at New York University, where she conducted an independent study on early childhood mathematics. Early on in her teaching career Jenn had the privilege of attending workshops at Mathematics in the City (MitC), at the City College of New York, an NSF funded project co-directed by Catherine Twomey-Fosnot and Antonia Cameron. As a participant in this project, Jenn’s understanding of math teaching was galvanized as she was challenged to think about a deceptively simple question: what is mathematics? In her experiences at MitC, Jenn saw how effective teaching was rooted in lesson design: in the kind of mathematical task given, how learners were grouped, the amount of time given for exploration and reflection, and how collaboration and communication developed thinking. More important, Jenn saw how specific pedagogical choices (using talk moves, slowing down around big ideas, challenging ideas as they arose and expecting students to justify their thinking) deepened the learning of each participant, even as it developed a vibrant learning culture.

As a learner, Jenn thrived in the MitC professional learning community; her outstanding contributions to her peers and her many talents were recognized by the leadership team, and she was selected to facilitate workshops for the organization. In this role, she was coached to plan adult learning experiences, how to use specific pedagogical tools to develop classroom community, and how to use questions strategically to develop and challenge adult learning. Jenn draws on these invaluable experiences in her current work with teachers, coaches, and school leaders.

Another pivotal experience that influenced Jenn’s understanding of teaching and learning mathematics and facilitating adult learning, happened when she was selected to host a lab-site for the NYC DOE’s Collaborative Communities of Practice (CCP), which was a part of MitC’s Teaching Learning Communities (TLC). In this leadership role, Jenn hosted visiting teachers from across NYC, 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. This experience was invaluable; Jenn knows first-hand the transformative power of teaching/learning communities (TLCs) and loves facilitating these kinds of learning experiences for other educators.

Jenn’s coaching and facilitation skills were further developed when she joined Metamorphosis Teaching Learning Communities, a nationally known provider of professional development. Here, as a Master Coach, she provided professional development nationally, in NYC, and in the greater New York area. Jenn’s collaborative approach to coaching supports students, teachers, and administrators alike to develop a sense of inquiry and excitement for the teaching and learning of mathematics. Her unique talents have brought her wide-spread recognition, and she is highly sought after as a coach and facilitator of adult learning.

Over the years, Jenn has presented at National and local conferences such as NCTM and NCSM with her colleagues. She is currently co-authoring an early childhood book on math games, routines, and guided mini-lessons with her colleague, Antonia Cameron.

Jenn wholeheartedly believes that it is essential to build a community of trust and hopes that her infectious spirit and love of mathematics will transform everyone she encounters.

Join us on June 6th!

On Chancellor’s Day the ReimaginED Teaching Team will be facilitating 90-minute LIVE Virtual sessions in the morning and afternoon.

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