Yesterday, I heard that in many classrooms, they raised the number of students per class to 40.
Allow me to put this in terms that you’ll understand.
At first, you may think that there’s no big deal to this. The reason you think this is that you’re thinking of university-sized classes or seminars, and you’re thinking of adults attending. You’re thinking of people who have an interest in being there.
Not a single kid in school would prefer to be in class over being somewhere else. Keep in mind that they have tremendous imaginations and desires and dreams. So, you have a group of people who don’t want to be there. They want to socialize or not be there or get attention or be left alone. They want to do anything else but learn.
Simply for the purpose of driving my point home, consider a group of dogs in a dog park or at doggy lessons. They want to socialize and to play. Luckily, doggy schools usually require the doggy’s owner to be next to them and in class. Also, just as luckily, your dog is hard-wired to attempt to please his ‘master’.
Kids are hard-wired to find the path of least resistance - in fact, all humans are - hence the goal is usually pleasing themselves. (This is a survival instinct and one that we’re so good at, we dominate over all other species.)
Now, imagine being an instructor at doggy school with 40 dogs, without their masters and without the desire of the dogs to please you or their masters. Add to this a curriculum that you need to get through, provincial/federal/national exams that your class must take, administration watching over your shoulder, homework to correct, parents not helping or showing that they support you, your salary remaining the same, your resources old and depleting, the laws getting tighter and more conservative, etc.
Who wouldn’t want to be a teacher, right?
What’s the easiest way for a government to save money in education? Raise the number of students in the class. Easy.
The quality of your child’s education suffers with every new student, and it is NOT the fault of the teacher.
I don’t care what kind of training as a teacher one has, in the hypothetical situation from above, the quantity of teaching and learning happening is very small, and the work, energy, effort and drain on a teacher is at the point of rupture. Imagine that this happens 5, 6, 7, 8 classes a day, every day.
“I wish parents knew how much time and $$ we teachers take away from our own families to provide their children with a quality education.” (public school, BC, Canada)
Imagine what a teacher could do if classroom sizes were of 4 students. It’s unrealistic, but think of how much attention and teaching could go to each child.
What can you do? Awareness. Knowing the problem is half the battle. Think of this next time you’re dealing with a teacher or when you’re about to judge them. You might consider getting some fellow parents to also read this and pass it on.