Concerns of Public Education: S = Student Teacher Ratio

A concern that my school and most schools in my district face each year is student teacher ratio. Many school systems place the maximum number of students allowed into classrooms. Therefore, they do not have to hire more teachers and spend more money. However, what they do not realize is how much they are depriving the children of intensive learning.

In kindergarten, we have had 21 or 22 students. One of our first grade classes this year had 23 students. Some older grade classrooms have as many as 25 to 30 students per teacher. When I taught eighth grade, I had as many as 28 or 29 children. These numbers are ridiculous!

So much more learning can be accomplished in classrooms with fewer children. Fifteen kindergarten students is an excellent number for a classroom. However, very few kindergarten classrooms in my district ever see this small of a number.

It is impossible to give the attention that each child deserves when the teacher is required to be spread out over 20 or more students.

In smaller student teacher ratio classrooms, less time is spent on discipline and classroom organization. More time is spent on learning and teaching. In smaller student teacher ratio classrooms, more time can be spent on long term and hands on projects.

When I taught eighth grade science with 28 students in a class, it was very difficult to even find space in the classroom to set-up experiments, much less find the funds for the supplies and carefully monitor all of the students.

The problem in my district will likely not get better unless student teacher ratio numbers are lowered and mandated by the state or federal government. Each year the district insists that there is not funding to hire new teachers to lower the ratios in the classrooms.


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