Know What?………..SIZE DOES MATTER!!
In an age of student-centered learning, how is it possible that we stand in front of classes of 35 to 40 students? An individual student in these classrooms cannot even move to the center of the room through the mass of peers; let alone be the center of our lessons. While we can go through the motions of teaching in this environment, if actual learning is - as our motto states: Not for School; But for Life, then class sizes need to be cut. All other improvements we perfunctorily agree should happen, could happen.
Sometime around mid-October –
when we have memorized the 185 total names and faces left to our care, as long as they have not switched seats (for I do not know Nicholas Davis, but I know that Nicholas Davis is the kid in Second Period with curly brown hair that sits three seats in by the window sandwiched by Emily A. with the glasses and Emily D. who is on the basketball team)
- written assignments start to pour in…
suffuse any physical and mental space once used to work on creative and poignant assignments.
The next day will be the inevitable question: Will we get our papers back today?
Internal laughter, laughter, laughter
-“Do the math.”
“But this is English class..”
-“If I take 5 minutes per paper; at 185 students; that will be ….925 minutes. How many hours is that?..(silence – this is English class)........Ok, I’ll tell you. It is over 15 hours. So considering eating, sleeping, and breathing are necessities of life, I could not have them all done in that time.”
“Oh….. Tomorrow then?”
When the papers finally make their way back to them, Emily..uh... -let me check my list…oh right.... Emily Anderson will not remember what she had written.
The memorization is up – The learning and thinking is down
The total tuition collected is up – The love is down
The total attendance is up – The accountability is down
The veil of education is up - WE ARE DOWN
We need to use our number and girth to make it known that we would like to teach again. Not be crowd control or something for the masses to click on when they want a piece of encyclopedic information:
1. Class sizes need to be reduced to 25 students maximum
2.The administration should be concerned with filling minds first; filling seats second
3. Veteran and retired teachers claim they were able to handle 50 – 60; we must remind them that learning has left the memorization system, we no longer have corpal punishment, and the fear of God (and parents) is less effective than it once was.