Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
2009 Alumni Classroom Fellow
New Canaan, CT
Bio/Overview: Woleck is currently the Assistant Principal of East Elementary School in New Canaan, CT. Her undergraduate experience as a child development major at Tufts University provided Kris with a lens for observing children and using these observations to inform her decisions as a teacher. She brought this understanding with her to her years as a first-grade teacher in Wilton, Connecticut, and it was by listening to first-graders’ mathematical thinking that Woleck became passionate about the development of children’s mathematical ideas. From her graduate experiences, Woleck developed a deep understanding of elementary mathematics curriculum, pedagogy, and theories of adult development and change. She then moved onto experiences as a mathematics staff developer / coach and coordinator in elementary mathematics (K-8 and K-5) for nine years. She served for eight years as a K-5 mathematics specialist / coach and curriculum coordinator in the New Canaan Public Schools. Kris then carried this commitment to instructional leadership to the building level in 2011 when she moved into the role of Assistant Principal in New Canaan.
Educational Values/Philosophy: “Learning is mostly about talking; teaching is mostly about listening.” These words capture the essence of Woleck’s work in schools to foster student learning. That is, her philosophy of education is grounded not so much in how to teach but rather in how children learn. Now as a building administrator, Woleck continues to apply this philosophy in terms of her approach to all facets of the work – from scheduling to school climate – to determine how each can be crafted and developed to systematically move student learning and collective dialogue about teaching and learning forward.
Achievements: Woleck is the author of a professional text, Moments in Mathematics Coaching, published in March, 2010, by Corwin Press; her publication, written through the lens of a practitioner, describes principles, skills, and dilemmas of mathematics coaching.
Leadership Experience: Woleck immersed herself in professional development work with teachers for more than ten years, as a coach in her district and as a facilitator of online coaching seminars. Woleck’s Fellowship work during the 2009-2010 school year included policy research in the area of teacher evaluation systems that link to professional growth. She has worked for the past two years as Co-Chair of the Teacher Evaluation and Professional Learning committee in her district (New Canaan Public Schools), leading the study and redesign of the district's teacher evaluation system to ensure that it develops and supports teacher effectiveness to impact student growth and provides timely, specific feedback to teachers in support of a professional growth culture in the district.
Education: Woleck completed her undergraduate education at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, before pursuing a Master’s Degree from the Bank Street College of Education Leadership in Mathematics Education program. Woleck also completed a sixth-year Educational Leadership/Administration degree program at the University of Connecticut.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Teacher quality
- Professional development
- Instructional coaching