This is my story...

Mathematician. Teacher. Coach. Business Woman. Mother. Sister. Wife. Friend.
All of these words describe who I am, how I got here and why I do what I do.

 Hi, I’m Shannon Kiebler, the founder of Empower Consulting.
This is My Story. My Journey. My Why.

I wasn’t “good” at Math as a student. I honestly faked understanding math all the way through high school which makes my journey to today, running Empower Consulting, a Math Professional Development consultancy, both unlikely and rewarding at the same time. I started my career as an elementary school teacher and loved it. I never saw myself teaching anyone other than those fun loving kinder through 6th graders. It honestly wasn’t until I was hired to teach after-school math intervention that the light bulb really came on.  With a masters degree in literacy, my career took a turn into the field of mathematics after relearning math through they lens of intervention. (I’d like to apologize to all of my early classes of students— I’m afraid I taught them the way I was taught. I recognize, however, that we do the best we can with what we know.  I now know better, so I do better.)
Once I started teaching intervention, number strategies came alive!  Why hadn’t I ever learned this way before? My third grade after school intervention group was really my intervention group and I spent hours learning the visual and conceptual methods and doing the math myself. I finally understood how numbers broke apart.  I understood more about problem-solving and breaking problems down. It changed my life.  No, really.  It was from here that the fire was sparked, and I was committed to being my own teacher.

 I know enough now to continue to build my tribe of trusted math advisors. I am aligned closely with the research and work of John Hattie (Visible Learning), the I.E.S (Institute of Educational Sciences), the National Council of Research in Mathematics, Dr. Karen Fuson, Julie Sarma, and Douglas Clements to name a few.
One thing hasn’t changed as I have learned more about how students and teachers learn math. Doing the math will continue to be how I learn the math. 

Now I get to work in more than 50 schools/districts across the country and internationally to share best practices in math instruction.  I am now a published children's book author, a curriculum writer, national speaker, and the creator of the Math Genius Squad, an on demand, differentiated professional development membership for the users of Math Expressions (a curriculum). I can spot a 'fake' trainer a mile away (as can every single teacher out there), and believe if you haven't taught it yourself, it is really difficult or unauthentic to teach others.

I'm a real teacher, with real experience who also believes PD has to be better than what most teachers receive.  I believe in the C.RA model of instruction (Concrete- Representational- Abstract). I believe in math discourse, inquiry launches followed by explicit instruction, and highly engaging and visual teaching practices. I believe in facilitated productive struggle and in the power of understanding the learning progressions and trajectories. I believe in equitable math instruction that strives to tell and connect to accurate stories of our world and the people in it.

I like Number Talks, but I love Math Discourse  and  believe it should be used THROUGHOUT the math lesson not just in 5 minutes at the start of class.

I like algorithms and math facts and believe both are important, but believe both should be built conceptually first,  connected to visual representations, and then work on building procedural fluency.

I believe professional development should be customized, instantly applicable, and worth every minute of a teacher's time.  Teachers are professionals and need high quality, differentiated learning experiences. I believe the best learning is inside of classrooms and the further we are from the classroom learning the further we are from what matters.

I really dislike 'drive by' PD and believe in professional learning cycles that are built upon data, goals, research, learning, modeling, coaching, and reflection. Once is never enough.  We can never become masters at something we only experience one time and in something for which we never receive feedback.
When I’m not traveling to schools and classrooms, I spend every waking moment with my beautiful and crazy tribe: my husband, daughter, son, amazing miniature bernadoodle, 5 coi fish, 1 gecko, 1 beta fish and a bunch of half dead house plants.  The humans in the family love to spend time in the Colorado Rocky Mountains snowboarding/skiing,  camping  and building community at our church and in our neighborhood. I love playing games and  I make my sweet family try out every board, card, and dice game out there as they mostly humor the teacher in me.  I’m an avid tennis player, pinterest obsessor, and historical fiction reader.