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Know Your Pelicans

Meet Chris Natale

Math Specialist (K-6)

Know Your Pelicans

What do you teach? What is one of your favorite parts of the curriculum? 

I’m the Lower School math coach and coordinator. One of my favorite parts of the curriculum is helping kids to think about how to be good problem solvers. Though this isn’t a typical “content” piece of the curriculum, it’s hugely important to get kids to know that they have the wherewithal and teach them how to start with a plan — even if it’s a nebulous one — and work from there. Teaching kids to be persistent, doggedly striving to find a solution is an important math, and life, skill.

Tell us about a specific time you found your job especially rewarding.

Just last week, I got an email from a teacher who thanked me for spending time planning some lessons together so that they could more deeply understand the content. They told me how well the lesson went that they taught that day, and how excited they were to teach the rest of the week. If I can get one of those emails every so often, I’m in a great place, both figuratively and literally.

What’s one thing you love about your colleagues? 

I love working with people who share the same curiosity about how kids’ minds work around mathematical ideas, and just ideas in general. Having a sense of wonder about math and about the brain’s learning of math is something I really cherish amongst my colleagues.

If you had an inspirational fridge magnet (and we’re not saying you would), what would it say and why? 

“What new thing will you learn today?”

This would be my fridge magnet (if my fridge were magnetic) because that’s a question that’s worth asking both in and out of school. There’s so much out there to engage in, and the things you engage in will help you understand other areas of your life because of the connections you’ll make in your mind.

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