We sat down with Brittany Huggins from AF Hartford Academy Elementary to hear more about her journey to the classroom.
Let’s jump right in – what do you teach?
Currently, I teach third grade writing at AF Hartford Academy Elementary. This is my…let’s see…whoa, fifth year with AF!
Awesome! Can you tell us more about yourself?
I’m from Windsor, Connecticut, about 15 minutes away from Hartford. I went to Pace University in New York on a basketball scholarship, and then I went to graduate school at the University of Hartford. I was a political science major at Pace. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, but around sophomore year I realized that I wanted to work with kids, so I decided to get my degree in political science and then go to graduate school for education.
Why did you go into education?
Basketball is my first passion. I had always worked at camps and sports clinics. Kids seemed to connect with me. Hartford is a really struggling city, so reaching kids through athletics, especially kids who struggled academically, and seeing them excel in sports was amazing to me.
Every year I work at a very expensive camp in West Hartford, but I bring kids who don’t have the money to go. Last year, I was able to bring four kids with me. Kids in Hartford don’t always have the best person in front of them, teaching them. So reaching kids in this way through sports? It’s something I always wanted to do. I love it.
What brought you to teach at Achievement First?
When I first left graduate school, I was working as a tutor and I was looking for a job. The same day I interviewed with AF, I also interviewed at a magnet school in Hartford. But I fell in love with AF because of the mission. I like the structure, I like the high expectations.
Can you share a part of your teaching that’s particularly meaningful to you?
When kids really get it. I also love teaching writing because kids get to be creative. They’re never wrong when they’re writing. When you write, your ideas comes to life.
Yes, totally. Thank you for sharing your story, Brittany!