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A family of teachers is molding minds in Prince William County schools

(Photo, ABC7)

This second grade class at Occoquan Elementary starts with a good dose of love and a whole lot of heart.

Two Hardts to be exact.

Taylor Hardt is just starting her second year of teaching at the Prince William County school.

“I said I'm new to Occoquan and I need your help, so just learning with them and learning with each other,” she says. “I learn from them and they learn from me and I just love their little sweet selves.”

The other Hardt, Amy, is into her 17th year molding minds. She is currently at Buckland Mills Elementary, where she is the gifted teacher and IB Coordinator for grades K through five.

“They keep you hopping and keep you moving and keep you fresh!” she told ABC7. “When you can interact and find their passions and their interests and incorporate that into what we have to teach, we really grab those kids and keep them lifelong learners.”

Taylor shared her space with her mom for the day when ABC7 came to talk with them. Amy dropped by to share how she knew her daughter would follow in her footsteps. She said it became glaringly evident when daughter, became student.

“When she was my science teacher, I definitely thought, ‘Oh well, I can get up and just do whatever I want.’ I quickly found out that was not the case,” Taylor said laughing. “We again had some convos about how I’m not in charge, which sometimes is hard for me to realize.”

“There were a lot of conversations that we had to have that were a little hard for her to hear,” Amy said. “That this Mrs. Hardt was in charge in the classroom and you are going to be a student.”

But now the pupil is the professional. And while Taylor says she goes to mom daily for words of wisdom, her generation of youngsters faces new dilemmas and difficulties.

“Everybody in the education field has seen a very big turn in how things are,” Taylor told ABC7. “Real world issues are affecting our children much more harshly [than] social media.”

To combat that, Taylor says her teaching style is to provide a lot of love, coming, of course, from two Hardts.

“It’s funny because I see glimpses of myself,” says Amy. “I see things that we talk about.”

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“100 percent, all the time,” Taylor said, smiling. “We have such similar mannerisms that I’m like ‘Oh, that was Amy!’”

Amy says her favorite part about having Taylor as her student all those years ago was seeing her own child through a different lens. Watching her interact with her friends and learn. Just as long as she always remembered she was in Mrs. Hardt's classroom, not mom's class.

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