Family Experiences: The Hardman Family
Mrs. Hardman joined CCA as an Upper School science teacher in 2019. Then, she joined our school as a parent. Learn from her why CCA is different from other schools.
I was excited to begin my job at CCA this summer. I did not realize how much I was going to enjoy working with the staff, students and parents.
I’ve always been interested in studying science, and I earned a degree in therapeutic recreation. When my daughter began kindergarten, I started substitute teaching in the public schools, and I realized I have a strong passion for teaching. Teaching science for CCA’s Upper School students was a natural and exciting fit for me.
When I applied for a position here, in the summer of 2019, I was very interested in working in a Christian school. I liked the fact that at CCA parents are heavily involved, and the students have accountability both at home and at school for completing their work to the best of their ability. I think oftentimes, there can be a perception of private schools not having a strong educational program. I was comforted knowing classical education gives students a strong educational foundation.
Unfortunately, in the public school setting, teachers are under pressure to make sure their students meet multiple percentage goals in preparation for state testing. So much of their school day revolves around the pressure of the goals.
At CCA, teachers have a say in what we will use as curriculum and we have input from the families. It is a true partnership. The administration at CCA understands the importance of working well with the teachers and how that transitions into our performance in the classroom. As a result, our staff meetings are strictly information that will benefit both us as professionals as well as the students.
I love being able to teach students so that they learn and comprehend the material instead of the “normal” way of teaching, which I feel has become just teaching students to do well on exams. At CCA, I am able to have related discussions on material that interests the students. The small class sizes allow me to see each student as an individual. I know each of my students’ needs and can plan our lessons to accommodate their strengths and weaknesses. I feel like I’m a better teacher because I am able to effectively convey a deep understanding of the material we’re covering.
Over the past couple of months, I have been spending a great deal of time advocating for my own child. Our daughter is a strong student who does well on her report card. However, we have noticed that she sometimes does not finish assignments or read questions thoroughly. As a teacher, I know how hard it is to focus on a student who does well grade wise, even though she is not performing to her highest potential. This year, we are finding out about assignments that she does not complete after they are already graded and oftentimes she does not have the material she needs to complete it at home.
We considered what we could do to help our daughter and quickly discovered that everything we wanted for her could be provided at CCA. The aspects of the school that appealed to me as a teacher: small class sizes, rigorous curriculum, Christian studies, less focus on test results and more focus on learning – became significant to me as a parent. So, she’ll join me here for the 2020-2021 school year.
Since we told her of our decision, she has seemed more relaxed about things that are school related. She’s not here yet, and already it’s benefitting her! I know from working with CCA parents this year, that open communication is important as we make these changes for our daughter – and that CCA has the tools in place to facilitate a strong partnership between teacher, parent and student. Our family is very excited to be part of this amazing community.