HEAD TEACHER LOWER ELEMENTARY
Washington Montessori School was pleased to welcome seasoned elementary teacher Heather Twyeffort to our faculty this year. Though a new Montessori practitioner, Heather has years of teaching experience and an undeniable passion for teaching and for Montessori.
It’s almost fair to say that she’s been a teacher her whole life. As the oldest of three girls, Heather fondly remembers taking care of and nurturing her younger sisters when they were growing up in Granby with their parents. A memory that sticks out in her mind is the time she, at 7 years old, wanted to show her youngest sister what would happen when water was added to a dry sponge. “I distinctly remember watching the wonder in her eyes…like it was magic. I still think of that moment today and I think it’s what led me to become a teacher. I loved watching the excitement and the impact in such a simple task.” When she started at the University of Connecticut, she never considered another major; it only made sense to pursue a teaching degree.
After earning an integrated Bachelors and Masters Degree in Elementary Education, Heather began teaching a second grade class in the Region 6 district. She continued teaching there for the next 14 years until she realized she was ready for more. “It’s always been important to me to continue learning and growing as a person,” said Heather. “I loved teaching but I was ready for something new.”
Luckily inspiration would strike soon. As Heather started to search for her “something new,” she began teaching a writing course for older children. She loved the focus writing provided; felt inspired by the work and found her passion for teaching reenergized. When a literacy specialist friend suggested she looked into Montessori, Heather didn’t hesitate.
“The more I learned about Montessori, the more I loved it,” she said. “I love that it is education for the whole child. I love the awareness of the human spirit and the focus on independence.”
Heather was easily convinced that she wanted to become a Montessori teacher and quickly enrolled for Montessori Certification. The birth of her son Andrew put her Montessori certification process on hold for a bit, but she returned to her Montessori training this summer. Juggling training, a newborn, two tweens and a new classroom has been a welcome challenge. “The best part has been connecting with the kids,” said Heather.
Heather has also enjoyed sharing another passion of hers with her students—her love for the violin. Heather began taking Suzuki violin lessons when she was 7 years old through the Hartt School of Music Community Division. She has played professionally as a member of the Torrington Symphony Orchestra and as freelance musician. (She recently played at White Memorial’s Family Day.) She loves that she can incorporate her violin playing into her classroom. She has established “Fiddle Fridays,” in her classroom where she tells stories and accompanies them with her music.
Heather lives on Woodridge Lake in Goshen with her husband Ben, three children and two Labrador retrievers. Together they enjoy exploring the hiking trails of White Memorial in Litchfield and spending time with extended family on the Cape. Her daughters, Emma and Madeline, are students in the Region 6 school district. Heather is looking forward to her son Andrew beginning in the Young Children’s Community next fall.