about me
   a few fun facts & a professional resume



I'm a teacher first and then a writer, mostly of poetry.  I've been a choral singer, an improvisational comedian, a quilter and a salsa dancer.  I'm a Wesleyan Alpha Delt, a UU and an ENTJ (if you're interested in Myers-Briggs personality types).  

I hold a Master's in Language and Literature in Education in addition to my graduate degree in teaching and that still-useful B.A. in American Studies. This extensive training has served me well throughout 24 years of classroom experience, during which I've taught children ages 3 to 11 in schools from East Harlem to Inner London to the DC suburbs.  I've conducted inservice development for teachers in Writing Workshop, a literature class for ages 4-7 called "Books for Beginners," and freelance workshops in classrooms throughout the DC Metro area.
Professional Resume 
HEIDI MORDHORST

EDUCATION
M.A. with Distinction in Language and Literature, Institute of Education, University of London                             1994
Course topics included sociolinguistics, bilingual education and “the canon.”  Dissertation: the role of classroom literature experience in developing children’s writing fluency.

M.S. Ed. with Distinction (K -6), Bank Street College of Education, New York City                                         1988 
Course topics included design and implementation of integrated, developmentally appropriate curriculum with social 
studies at the core.  Final project: a practical economics curriculum for 8-9’s.

B.A in American Studies, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT                                                                    1985
Course topics included literature, art, film, history, politics and religion.  Special projects focused on American public education policy and reform.


TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Reading Initiative Teacher, First Grade, Garrett Park Elementary School, Bethesda, MD                  2009 - present
Responsible for implementing MCPS reading, language arts and social studies curriculum for groups of K, 1 and 2 students.

Lead Teacher, Bethesda Cooperative Nursery School, Bethesda, MD                                                             1999-2007
Responsible for planning and implementing, with an assistant, a half-day thematic curriculum for 4-year-olds, 
including formal and informal parent education in a cooperative setting. 

Class Teacher, Dodge Park Elementary School, Landover, MD                                                   1996-1998
Responsible for teaching Grade 3 integrated humanities in a departmentalized setting.  Activities:  Author of several performance-based curriculum units; secretary of School-Based Management Team; founder and chair of Creative Arts Committee; organizer of after-school enrichment programs in cooking, crafts and drama.

Music Teacher, Lordship Lane Infant School, London Borough of Haringey                                              1994-1996
Responsible for planning and implementing National Curriculum music for 3- to 7-year-olds, including writing the 
school’s music policy and schemes of work.  Activities:  Member of Language, Religious Education and Sports Day 
working parties; organizer of school-wide mail-order book club; secretary of National Union of Teachers Chapter.

Class Teacher, Brecknock JMI School, London Borough of Camden                                                        1991-1994
Responsible for teaching ten National Curriculum subjects for Year 5 (9-10’s) and Year 2 (6-7’s).  Activities:  Library Coordinator (a paid position); member of Language curriculum working party; organizer of children’s after-school choir.

Class Teacher, P.S. 96, East Harlem, New York City                                                                1987-1991
Responsible for teaching all subjects for Grades 1, 1/2 and 3.  Activities:  Early Years Representative on school-based management team and to Manhattan District 4 Office; co-author of original social studies-based integrated curriculum for grades K-4; member of the Writing Network, a support group for teachers of Writing Workshop.


PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
*Founding Team Member of fledgling Montgomery County K-8 Public Charter School project                                  2009
*Author of Pumpkin Butterfly:  Poems from the Other Side of  Nature,  published by Wordsong/Boyds Mills          2009
*Author of Squeeze: Poems from a Juicy Universe, published by Wordsong/Boyds Mills                                        2005
*Member, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators                                            2003-present
*Teacher of Books for Beginners,   weekly small-group literature program for 4 to 6-year-olds                        2001-2002
*Instructor of Prince George’s Co. Schools in-service course on Writing Workshop                                           1997
*Member of the Primary Steering Committee, National Association of Teachers of English, UK                         1993-1996
*Author of Bookworm, the children’s book review column of TermTime Magazine, UK                               1995-1996
*Participant in Columbia Teachers’ College Summer Writing Institute                                                                                    1988
Fun Facts 

My family celebrates 12 Days of Yuletide:
Starting on the Winter Solstice--as the wheel of the year begins another turn--we think on the old and prepare for the new,  lighting another candle each night for each of these human gifts:  inner light, home and family, energy and effort, compassion, generosity, our physical bodies (also known as "beastly nature"!), laughter, intellect, art, wisdom, faith and optimism and community.  Each day has its focus and its own color of candle, and the presents we give and receive go with the celebration of the day.  Yes, I made it up, and yes, friends tease us by wishing us a Happy RamaKwanHanuMas, but it works for us.

Favorite color:
Turquoise--could you guess?  It took me a long time, but I finally made the committment at age 32.

Least favorite food:
Green peppers, although I like other green vegetables--even Brussels sprouts.  

Most favorite food:
Yes.

Favorite picture books:
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig; Hazel's Amazing Mother by Rosemary Wells; Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran;  Swimmy by Leo Lionni, and any by Ezra Jack Keats, an erstwhile green sofa of whose I used to sit on during meetings of my Manhattan writing group--and I've discovered that we share the same birthday, March 11!

Favorite chapter books:
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner Chandler; Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg; My Side of the Mountain by Jean George; and Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh.  Recent additions:  The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart and Fairest by Gail Carson Levine.
Most recently, after eight years at Bethesda Cooperative Nursery and a year in Paris, I've returned to the public schools--first as a part-time Reading Initiative teacher at Wood Acres and Garrett Park, and now full-time at Rock View ES in Kensington with 2nd graders (but I sure miss the kindergarteners!).  My 17-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son attend Montgomery County schools, as well.