Saturday, April 18, 2020

Classroom Overcrowding: It’s Not Just a Numbers Game

In my nearly 20 years teaching in my district, we’ve had several occasions to protest, trying to make our board of education sit up and take notice. One button read “Grossmont Students Lose With Class Size of 34 to One.” It’s black printing on a bright yellow button. I have it pinned to my bulletin board.

Now, I’d give almost anything to have 34 students in my classroom. This year, I have 40 in every single section (that’s five sections…200 kids.) I’m sure one or two may drop eventually, but there's no way to know.

When I tell colleagues that I have 40 students per section, the first reaction is disbelief. Surely I’ve counted wrong? No, afraid not.

In my son’s elementary school, things aren’t much better. He is in third grade, and has 30 little souls in his classroom. Two teachers share the contract for his classroom, and they do an outstanding job. Still, handling 30 8-year-olds is a feat, and trying to teach them something? Well, miracles happen every day. 

With this disturbing trend, schools, teachers and most importantly students are learning the devastating effects of overcrowded classrooms.

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