Meredith Somsel


Who is Meredith?

Meredith Somsel initially thought she would teach elementary school and then found herself accepting a teaching position as a sixth-grade math teacher as her first job in education. She continued to work as a middle school math teacher in New York City and Maryland, always thinking about ways to make the abstract more concrete for both herself and her students. She was a team leader across two grades in 2008-09; it was in this role that she gained insight into the challenges of school leadership in supporting and creating change in teacher practice. She transitioned into coaching in 2010 and has worked with public and private schools across NYC’s five boroughs for more than nine years.
In 2016, Meredith joined a nationally renowned coaching organization, Metamorphosis Teaching Learning Communities (MTLC). Here, she was coached by MTLC’s master coaches both as a coach and a workshop facilitator. As a MTLC coach herself, Meredith has gone on to develop the teaching practice of educators in upper elementary and middle schools. In her work, she typically challenges teachers to think about how to increase students’ access and engagement in a math lesson and also explore why this was critical for leveling the playing field for learners.

As part of the MTLC think tank, Meredith was given many opportunities to deepen her own content knowledge; in her study of content and pedagogy, for example, Meredith noticed how similar the core of mathematics is across the grades—that problem solving is at the heart of mathematical thinking and the skill to communicate one’s thinking to others transcends specific grade-level content. It was in this latter goal of helping students develop their communication skills that Meredith became a math storyteller, which she feels is often missing in instruction. In her work, she strongly encourages teachers and students to think about the stories behind the numbers.

Meredith as a storyteller is undoubtedly influenced by her role as mother. She lives in Morningside Heights in New York City with her husband and three daughters, two of whom attend a public school in Manhattan’s District 3 while her youngest continues to challenge the merits of being fully potty trained. Meredith enjoys (most of the time) watching her own children develop into mathematical thinkers and continues to learn alongside them.

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