5th-Grade Teacher, Chelsea Hartford, Conveys Her Love for Science & Social Studies

Posted by PA Distance Learning on 8/30/21 8:07 AM

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PA Distance newcomer, Chelsea Hartford, came all the way to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from Chicago, Illinois. She earned her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is certified in Illinois (grades 1-6) and Pennsylvania (grades K-4, 5-6). 

She didn’t always want to be a teacher and cited her long family history in teaching which she didn’t always embrace. 

“My grandmother was a teacher and was my biggest influence growing up. She would tell me stories about how every generation of our family had at least one teacher,” she explained. “My mom was also a teacher before she had kids. So naturally, I resisted becoming a teacher because I was around them so much growing up. Instead, I wanted to be a marine biologist.”

However, after volunteering to coach youth cheerleading and dance classes when she was in high school, she discovered that becoming a teacher was in her future after all. 

“One day I came home and admitted to my mom that I thought being a teacher was inevitable,” she said. “It was so easy and natural to me to work with students.” 

Now, as a 5th-grade science and social studies teacher at PA Distance, Mrs. Hartford has embraced teaching and loves every minute of it. 

“My dream is to be teaching these subjects to 5th-graders,” she said. “Growing up I never wanted to stop learning science and was a hands-on learner. I knew that when I grew up I wanted to be doing something with science.”

“In college, I realized my love for social studies. It’s just like science, but using those same inquisitive qualities but with content throughout history,” she explained. “I love highlighting the unsung heroes throughout history. I want my students to learn about those influential people who they haven’t heard of before.”

Although she is new to PA Distance, she has already understood the benefits of cyber education. 

“I love how the students get a lot of freedom and learn responsibility. You don’t get that in other K-12 schools. The students are in charge of their learning and are self-motivated,” she said. “I love to see them discover things and grow without me hovering over their shoulders.” 

“The communication at PA Distance is also great. We work closely with each family and give them all of the resources they need,” she added. 

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