headshot of Andrea Barrientos_2022
Behind the Desk of a Future Elementary Teacher
Andrea Barrientos

Andrea Barrientos is a graduate student taking the Master of Arts in Teaching for elementary education. She graduated from Trinity with a degree in Spanish and was placed into an elementary bilingual program with kindergarteners. We sat down with Andrea to talk about her experience in the program.

Q: Can you share the moment or incident you realized that you wanted to be a teacher?
A: Senior year of high school, I took a class where I was actually able to go to an elementary school five days a week. I really enjoyed it and I realized that is something I wanted to pursue in college.

Q: Is there a specific grade you are excited to work with?
A: I’ve always said typically second grade and below is where I would want to be. Right now, I’m working with kindergarteners and I’m enjoying it a lot. 

Q: Why did you choose the MAT program at Trinity? Is there anything specific that intrigued you about it?
A: So I think a big part of it was going to be the time commitment: it was only one year. It all came down to when Dr. Delgado emailed me and asked me if I was still interested in the program and I went for it.

Q: Why did you choose elementary education over secondary education?
A: I’ve always enjoyed being around the younger kids. I’ve also found that elementary was a fit. My experience has been with the elementary kids so that’s where I felt the most comfortable. 

Q: Tell me about your experience working with elementary age students. Is there anything you especially like about the experience or anything you learned so far?
A: I really enjoy that it’s very hands-on. You really get to interact with the students. It’s more of an observation but we really get to interact with the kids.

Q: Do you have any advice for anyone considering taking the MAT program at Trinity?
A: If it’s something that you’re really passionate about, go for it. It’s a really unique experience and not everyone gets this opportunity so just be open-minded about it.

Q: How is graduate school different from undergrad?
A: In undergrad, you have more flexibility and balance with your personal life. In this program, it’s an adjustment to a schedule. Make sure to find time for yourself and find that balance. 

Q: Will you share an “aha” moment you experienced in one of your graduate education classes?
A: In the summer, we were focused on the science of teaching reading and we talked a lot about phonics. Taking this course made me realize why we did it. I remember telling my professor at the time that I grew up and learned the alphabet but I never put it together, what’s the why. It all made sense at that moment.

If you would like to learn more about the Master of Arts in Teaching graduate program, sign up for our next info session: https://trinity.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0udu-oqD8iHdUbUrY8j1Y3rYEiQqehcFau or email us at education@trinity.edu.

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