Sections that are allotted for some courses allow you to meet with a smaller group of your course mates and a Teaching Fellow to further discuss the material brought up in class and in the readings. They offer a great opportunity to interact with your classmates on a deeper and more meaningful level especially if your usual class size is extremely large. Despite the initial awkwardness in the first few weeks, the cozy feeling of community in the section that is bound to follow allows you (by you, I actually mean me! :D) to break out of your shell, get past the inhibitions to speak up and participate in meaningful discussions about your thoughts, questions, doubts and quite frankly anything remotely related to the class.
In that respect, the section for my T440 class (The Having of Wonderful Ideas) has definitely been one of the best aspects of my first semester at HGSE. I do appreciate the friendships that have formed through this section and have been strengthened outside of class. This section has allowed me to explore the material we’re exposed to in class on a deeper level. And I would definitely have to add that this experience with this extremely supportive and encouraging group has definitely made me more confident about speaking out and putting forth my opinions though they may differ from the perspective of the majority. In addition, having the tremendous opportunity to dialogue with all these people from different programs in HGSE, other schools in Harvard (e.g. Business School, Medical School) and even other universities (e.g. MIT, Lesley University) has truly enriched my worldview!
Here’s a photo of a group of us trying to explore exactly how mirrors worked at the Gutman library! (I was really surprised at how much we thought we knew about mirrors, but actually didn’t!)
Divya Somasundaram is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Language & Literacy program. As an educator-to-be in the island city-state of Singapore, Divya is interested in the intersection of language policy and language teaching, as well as enabling equitable access to literacy.