I have been very fortunate in that I have taken a wide variety of classes during my time at Trinity. One class that I took was Analyzing Schools. In this course, I visited an elementary school for three hours each week, specifically a Kindergarten classroom, where I observed, interacted, and taught students in the Hartford Community. I have always had a passion for kids and this class really allowed me to explore it. The class was extremely eye opening for me and really allowed me to dive in and explore education in America. It was difficult for me to really understand everything, just because the system is so complex, however these classroom visits allowed me to understand a portion of what was occurring. Watching the children interact with one another inside the classroom helped me to draw upon the readings I was doing in my own class.
The experience was challenging for a few reasons but because there was only one teacher to about 26 kids. Each week, there would be children missing and when I asked the teacher where they were, she responded by saying “they moved to Florida and the family didn’t tell anyone” or “we haven’t seen that child in the last 3 days.” The answers she provided me were heartbreaking and demonstrated the struggle within the neighborhood. Additionally, children were not able to receive attention in the classroom because of the amount of students in one homeroom. It was hard to witness such disparity and actually led me to volunteer with Connectikids, a club that meets weekly and tutors and mentors Hartford children after school. This organization allows kids to thrive and seek attention outside of the classroom and their home. These two experiences together really allowed me to see the need that is present in Hartford.
Throughout the semester, I really grew to learn and better understand the way the schooling system operates. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and know that what I learned during those few months will benefit me for the rest of my life.