Rose Kindergarten Teacher
Teaching has been a lifelong passion for Nancy Disbrow, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School’s new Rose Kindergarten Teacher. As a child, she used to play school with her younger siblings, using a blackboard her family had in their house. Following this childhood interest, she attended Pace University and graduated with a BA in Education.
Nancy taught middle school in Kingston briefly before working in her mother’s retail store. Her journey to Waldorf education and back to teaching began when she read Rahima Baldwin Dancy’s book You are Your Child’s First Teacher, which introduced her to Rudolf Steiner’s insights on child development and inspired her to pursue Waldorf education for her children.
Nancy began looking for Waldorf education for her 4 year old daughter Maggie. It so happened, at the time they lived just down the road from the only Waldorf school in Connecticut—the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School in Newtown.
“I ran to an interview with Maggie, and our lives forever changed,” Nancy said. “I began to trust and have faith in a slow, rhythmical start to a child’s education.”
Each of her three children completed Kindergarten through 8th Grade at Housatonic Valley, and Nancy is grateful for the way their education has helped them develop their interests and work through learning and health difficulties. The emphasis on creativity, arts, and outdoor learning helped Maggie develop her interest in mystery to pursue a degree in criminology, empowered her younger daughter Carly (HVS alumnus ’17) to enjoy academics despite learning challenges, and allowed her son John Scott to experience an environment that allowed him to breathe, in spite of a health issue affecting his lungs.
“Through all our various family challenges, Waldorf education has become the steadfastness that has carried us,” she said. “The rhythm and consciousness of our environment and each other has provided me and my family with a health that is rich—a dream come true.”
Her children’s education also guided Nancy back to teaching. She began assisting in the Parent Child class at Housatonic Valley, eventually taking over as lead teacher. At that time, she pursued and received her Waldorf Teaching certificate with Sunbridge Institute. It was then John Scott and Carly’s search for a high school that led Nancy to Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School. She began assisting in Hawthorne Valley’s Early Childhood program before becoming the Rose Kindergarten teacher this September.
Nancy feels blessed by her many years of teaching. She says each child has taught her something, and she continues to learn even more.
“I’ve learned so much in the last two months of teaching here. I came to Hawthorne Valley for my children but have learned so much about myself,” she said. “It’s very special to help mold and guide the children. Even in just teaching them manners. There is a beauty to the rhythm and routine of it. Having form can change a child’s life.
“I love this work and feel quite grateful to have been given the opportunity to continue with the Rose Class Kindergarten,” she added. “To assist and aid in the journey of little ones, ‘to help remove Bodily and Soul obstacles out of their way that their Spirits may enter with full freedom into Life,’ is what I strive to hold in my thoughts, my heart, and my deeds on a daily basis.”