Wednesday, February 9, 2011

If I Ruled the School...

Today, I had a first hand reminder about the effect of class size on learning and classroom management.

My first grade classes each had an extra 4 - 5 students. One of our teachers has been out due to illness and while we wait for her return, the grade level felt it best for the students in that class to be split rather than have a revolving door of substitutes. What a great, caring staff we have! However you can imagine the strain it puts on each of us to have extra squirming bodies in the room...

The exact opposite happened in 5th grade. Today was the district track meet qualifying trials for our school so I had fewer students - missing 6 in one class, nine in another. Fortunately we weren't starting anything new - just finishing up some contest entries.

What a difference between groups! Smaller classes had more of my time, quieter work sessions which reflected in better quality artwork. Larger classes were much noisier along with more behavior issues. Of course EVERY teacher knows how class size affects student learning and classroom management. Wish our legislatures would understand this...

So anyway...If I ruled the school, I would limit grades K - 1 to only 15 - 20 students and Grades 2 - 6 to about 20 - 25. 'Course schools would have to win the lottery to pay for that ideal situation...

What do you think?


  1. Totally agree with you! Funny thing is the 6th grade classes I have are only 15 - 20 strong but 3rd grade is bursting at the seams with 26!! Problem here is our school is not big enough to accommodate them. I can't complain too much. My room is huge and one time was not the art room. I was told by a veteran teacher that my room could and has been taken away before the last time the school was bursting at the seems... I don't want to be on a cart.

  2. Well put and I couldn't agree more. If I ruled a school, the max size in all of my classes would be 15. Unfortunately the people who make these crucial decisions are not teachers but politicians or admin wanting to cut costs however possible.


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