July 4, 2022

Education Sciences at HACTC

Grace Gardner, Hartford High SchoolAt the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center, we have a mission statement. It’s six simple words that define the entire school’s rules: Respect. Engage. Learn. Work. Serve. Grow. These words play a role in everyday life at the tech center, and the word that has impacted me the most is “Learn”.

Learning during a pandemic is not easy. When I applied to be a part of the Education Sciences program at the HACTC last February, I had no idea that in a month from then I would be attending classes remotely from my bedroom. Last Spring, all schools in the state were ordered to go remote by the Vermont Governor. Now most schools in the state have a hybrid learning schedule. I feel that students attending the HACTC are very fortunate to be able to go to class and learn in person every day. 

There are several aspects of the class that had to be modified or eliminated. For example, guest speakers aren’t allowed in the classroom, so we have virtual meetings instead. Field trips have been limited, certain training such as CPR and First Aid aren’t able to be taught, and most Cooperative Education opportunities are unable to happen. However, I was still lucky enough to be able to go out onto a Cooperative Education experience.

I have been going to Sharon Elementary for the past several Fridays and have been working with the Kindergarten class. I’ve been able to apply the skills I learn in my HACTC class while teaching and helping out in the classroom. For example, in my Education Sciences class I have learned how to read an IEP, how to work with kids who have special needs, and I obtained a Mandated Reporter certification. I am also able to acquire new skills while observing the Kindergarten teacher. I go into the classroom and join their Google Meets when they’re remote so I am able to get the full experience of what it feels like to be teaching during the pandemic. 

While I’ve only been at the HACTC for a short period of time, I have learned so much. I now have a better idea of the path I want to take to further my education and what possible careers I see for myself in the future.

- Grace Gardner, Hartford High School