Christine Moynihan

Christine Moynihan has been a classroom teacher in K-6 classrooms, a mathematics curriculum specialist, and an elementary school principal in Newton, Massachusetts. She is currently a consultant who works with schools and districts to assist them in improving their quality of education.

When Christine was in fifth grade, her family moved to Florida from the Boston area. "We did a lot together, and my family bond grew even stronger," she remembers. She had always been a good student in all areas because she was great at memorizing. In seventh grade she was chosen for a "select new math" program of studies, where students learned about set theory; she did well because she was facile at memorizing rules, theorems, and procedures. "But even then I wanted to know more—I wanted to know why things worked mathematically and how ideas and concepts were connected to each other and to the procedures. My father was an engineer and he loved my 'why' questions and helped me gain a conceptual understanding that has stood me in good stead, both as a student and as a teacher."

Christine says that she inherited her voracious appetite for reading from her mother. "My favorite genre has been mysteries. I have always loved trying to 'put things together'—to make connections, to figure out answers to puzzles and dilemmas."

The first of nine siblings, Christine was "in a position of responsibility" and took it very seriously. "I loved to play school with my siblings, and it was fairly well accepted that I would be a teacher. As 'schmaltzy' as it sounds, I wanted to work with children and do something that makes a difference.... I love the idea that I, as a teacher, get to be a companion on the journey of learning. I have always seen it as a challenge to assess where each and every child is in his learning, determine his strengths, and then help set the stage for the next steps in his learning."