Larger Class Sizes? No thanks.
Two years ago I came to attend one of the newest schools in Wake County– Green Level High School. I had the opportunity to see the school before my junior year started when I hosted tours for incoming freshmen. I saw all of our chairs with wheels and these weird weebles-wobbles-looking stools that are apparently for kinesthetic learners. Every class has what I like to call lounge sections with whiteboard tables and comfortable chairs stuffed with plush cushions. All of these things looked fine and well until I started the school year, and we had to get forty students packed into the classroom. We had students at standing desks, on chairs with wheels, and using clipboards to write their notes on because there were not enough desks. What does that say about the quality of education each student gets?
In elementary school I would have around twenty-five students in my class, in middle school it got pushed up to the low thirties, and now as a senior in high school my friends and I can be in classes with nearly forty students! Teachers have their energy spread thin, student involvement decreases, and there is hardly any room for movement. I am a student who enjoys getting to know my teachers; these relationships are a big factor that contributed to my success in high school. As Wake County has more and more residents moving into our ceaseless amount of new housing developments (that’s a whole different story,) we will continue to face the issue of larger class sizes. Although students have the opportunity to talk to teachers outside of class during lunch, after, and before school, many are not able to find a time to meet up with their teachers.
After speaking with my peers, we all agreed that we have seen an increase in the stress of our teachers. More students means more papers to grade, more distractions, and increased volume in the classroom. Can you imagine babysitting thirty-six teenagers for two hours trying to teach them math? Haha…nope. The worst part of it all is a lack of resources for students. Teachers do not have the budget to fund all of the fun projects that we do. There is even a fight for paper! Because of this, sacrifices have to be made. For example, one of my friends was in her freshman biology class doing frog dissections, and she told me each student was only allocated one glove! Why? Her teacher didn’t have the means necessary for the proper personal equipment for the students. I have gone through all my classes not being able to write on tests because teachers don’t have enough paper to give each student their own test. This is not what our students deserve.
All in all I am not a fan of big class sizes. I honestly don’t know any teacher or student who would tell you that they enjoy having forty students in their classes. I fear for the youngest students in Wake County and how their class sizes will compare to those of us headed to college next fall. Twelve years ago a kindergarten class in my school had around twenty-five students, and I wonder what that class size would be now?