This January, TRIPS (Turning Responsibility into Powerful Service) leaders Katie Stewart ‘14 and Katherine Spude ‘14 headed down to Milwaukee with their participants. Students worked side-by-side with teachers who graduated from SNC and learned about the school system in Milwaukee. The trip participants had the incredible opportunity to gain a hands-on classroom teaching experience. Below is a reflection by Urban Education TRIP Leader, Katherine Spude ‘14.
By Katherine Spude ‘14
Before departing from De Pere, our overall goal for the trip was to provide service to St. Anthony School of Milwaukee and the cooperating teachers in any way they found helpful. We accomplished this goal in many ways. We provided students with individualized, small group, and large group instruction, contributed to the organization of the school’s new guided-reading library, and most importantly, we had the opportunity to share our college experiences with the students – doing our best to inspire and motivate them.
However, what we didn’t expect was the extraordinary amount of knowledge, experience, and passion for teaching the staff and students would instill in us. From the moment we walked into the school, the faculty were dedicated to helping us in every way possible. Our cooperating teachers gave us the opportunity to design and implement lesson plans and they provided us with constructive feedback. The week was full of professional development thanks to them. The Instructional Dean, Teresa Riley, provided us with hours of knowledge about the ever-changing field of education and prepared those of us who are graduating for the application process.
My biggest takeaway from this experience was witnessing the genuine desire and drive the students have to attend college and live a successful life. A large majority of the population (including myself prior to this trip), have an extremely stereotypical understanding of urban education. Most have the perception that urban schools are low achieving, struggle with behavior management, and lack the drive and discipline to further their education. This trip helped me recognize this ignorance and break the stereotypical label associated with urban schools. The students at St. Anthony are more driven and determined to go to college and be successful than any other school I’ve worked with. Not only are they driven to be successful, but they ARE successful. I guarantee you they will continue to achieve success throughout their educational career at St. Anthony.