We inspire and guide children to love learning, to love one another, and to love the world around them.
Teacher Tuesday: Get to Know Lower Elementary Teacher Elizabeth Kyvig
Our teachers are the heart of our school. On this Teacher Tuesday, we would like you to meet one of our dedicated educators, Lower Elementary teacher Elizabeth Kyvig.
What led you to pursue a career in education? I am a fourth generation educator and after a few years post college in an office setting, I realized I needed to pursue the family trade. At that point, I realized the thought of being a teacher had been with me since elementary school. I didn’t have much experience with children so I decided I needed to start at the beginning, early childhood, and work my way up through elementary age. I researched local graduate programs and learned about the Montessori training program at St. Catherine’s University. That program appealed to me because I was able to receive my Montessori certification, a Minnesota State Teaching License, and a Master’s degree all at the same time.
What drew you to the Montessori philosophy? Honestly I fell into Montessori, rather than seeking it out. As I was learning about the teacher training programs, the schedule for the program at St. Kate’s made sense to me. That being said, the more I studied Dr. Montessori and her philosophy of children and how they deserved to be educated, the more I realized how she appreciated the dignity of each individual and the role we each play in the world. She offered a way of learning that builds in a larger perspective of the world while paying attention to the details.
Why did you decide to teach at MSNV? I wanted to move to the area from Minnesota to be closer to my family but knew I would only move if the right job was available. From the moment I first spoke with Betsy Mitchell over the phone I knew there was something special about MSNV. When I was able to come visit, see the campuses, observe in the classrooms, and meet with the staff, all of those feelings were confirmed. The sense of family, community, and dedication to Montessori was so prevalent that I knew I wanted to make it my new work home. I was thrilled when Betsy called to offer me the position with Ms. Catharina in Lower El a few days later and accepted immediately.
What would you tell parents about the Elementary experience, especially Lower Elementary? In Lower Elementary, your child builds on the foundation of independence and curiosity they started to build in Primary. Those skills serve them well as they shift into a more social stage of development. As they finish Primary and move to Elementary, they become more aware of each other and what it means to work with someone. We help them to find the balance between the social and academic. For some, how to be with others is their big work at this stage.
What is your favorite MSNV tradition? Biography Day hands down is my favorite Lower Elementary tradition. I love the excitement of the students as they come in as the person they have been learning about. Seeing so many miniature famous and not famous enough people moving around and sharing their life stories with each other is so endearing. What a way to introduce other members of our community to those who have made a positive difference in our world.