As a parent who has spent considerable time volunteering in the classrooms of my two elementary school age children, I see first hand the demands and challenges facing their teachers every day. As the bar for academic achievement is set higher and the pressures of high stakes testing increase, the size of the classroom becomes a critical factor to consider.
My first grader is in a split class of 27 first and second graders. Her very qualified and experienced teacher works hard to address the wide range of abilities and needs of her students, but with a separate curriculum for each class and such a high number of young students, the situation is beyond demanding.
My third grader is one of 30 in her class. Her teacher is stretched thin as she tries to differentiate instruction in response to student needs, as well as nurture that all important teacher-student bond. Classroom management takes on a more demanding role, leaving less time and effort to focus on lessons and the personal, one-on-one interaction and assistance that is the key to learning.
I am a strong believer that reducing class size is crucial in improving the quality of education for our young children.
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