Introducing New Faculty
November 17, 2010
"It actually happened by accident," Christy Hartman said about deciding to become a science teacher. "Part of grad school is being a teaching assistant. Once I started getting into teaching, the labs and recitations, I really, really enjoyed it."
Hartman earned her bachelor’s degree in 2000 and her master’s degree in 2005, both in earth science from Syracuse University near Central Park in Manhattan. She also earned her teaching certificate in 2005 from Shippensburg University in southern Pennsylvania.
After she finished school, Hartman spent a few years teaching in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Montana, all the while harboring a desire to come to Utah to be closer to her twin sister and teach.
"None of the other schools that I’ve ever interviewed at really seemed worth making the move from Pennsylvania to come here," she said, adding that she was impressed with the atmosphere and the environment Ecker Hill Middle School, which was enough to bring her to Park City.
Hartman said she likes the close-knit relationship she has as a teacher with the administration both at the school and district level. She said she feels welcomed and supported in her position.
"The kids are great, the parents are great," she said.
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"Everybody’s here to do the best for the kids."
She teaches seventh-grade science, which includes physical, life and earth sciences. Physical science deals with beginning physics and chemistry, earth science covers landforms, oceans and the atmosphere and life science is the biology of cells and genetics. "I’ve never taught anywhere where you’ve done a little bit of all the sciences," Hartman said.
Seventh grade is a pivotal time in a student’s education, according to Hartman, because many begin discovering what they like and don’t like in school. She anxiously anticipates helping her students see the fun they can have with science by putting labs and experiments together for them.
"It’s just really cool to be able to do experiments and have kids learn things on their own from doing something," she said.
Hartman said she changes her approach to her curriculum each year and plans to take full advantage of her students’ high access to technology. While learning about lab equipment, the kids used laptops to research the different items they will be using this year and prepare short presentations for the class.
"My overall goal is just to make science fun and to make sure they (students) have the basic science skills that they need in life," Hartman said.