Monday, October 29, 2012

Does Size Really Matter?

The debate over classroom size never ceases to amaze me. It comes at me from many different directions. As a professor, the discussion is about how to manage and keep engaged large classes (those with more than 50 students). As a classroom teachers we're arguing over whether it's worth the money to keep our classes down to 24 students. Teachers know the importance of small class size. I think parents do too. No one wants to spend the money to do what we know is best though.

The argument goes like this "In order to have smaller classes we need more teachers. More teachers cost more money. Since we don't want to pay more money, can't you just get by with what you have AND still make the classes smaller?"

Ummmm. . . NO!

As a parent I remember when we went from a one child family to two. Yes, it was double the work, but since there were two adults we each had a hand to hold when we crossed the street. Now, go from a two child to a three child family and things get a little tricky. Someone doesn't have a parent's hand to hold. And it costs more to go to Disney World, ride on a airplane and you now need a mini van! As parents we know how the more children you have, the more difficult life is to manage.

Can you imagine taking care of hundreds of other people's children every day?

Size does matter. How can it not? Which classroom do you want your child in? The one where she has a hand to hold or the one where she doesn't?