Class Size

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Koriemo, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Jun 9, 2018

    I have a second interview on Wednesday, and I won't be surprised if they offer me the job. I'm pretty sure that I want the position, but I'm not totally confident. The thing that makes me most nervous are the large class sizes at this school. I previously taught high school at a private school, and our classes were capped at 20. Most of my classes had 12-16 students. I LOVED these small classes. As an English teacher, this meant that when I assigned essays, I had less than 100 total to grade. If I wanted to conference with students in class, I could devote 2-3 minutes per student and make it through in one class period. I could easily do group work at actually spend time with each group.

    The new school is a middle school position at a large, middle class/upper middle class school. My old school had 300 students total... This has 500 in 8th grade alone. Thankfully, the school is set up into "teams" which makes it more manageable, but classes are capped at 42 students. I can expect to have at least 35 students in each class. I feel like a bit overwhelmed at the idea of having triple the amount of students that I had before.

    I'm a pretty confident educator, and classroom management is a strength of mine. (I'm not an expert, but it comes pretty naturally to me. I taught 6th grade for a year at a "tough" school and while dealing with the administration was tough, the students were mostly fine.) I think my biggest concern with it is grading and managing student work. As an educator, my strengths are in connecting with students and planning lessons. I am creative and enjoy coming up with new unit plans and figuring out what works and what doesn't work. But I tend to struggle with follow through. Don't get me wrong; I do my job... but while I LOVE teaching about how to write essays and coaching students through the editing process, when I end up with a stack of essays on my desk I need to grade and return, I dread doing it.

    Anyways, I'm realizing that I think I DO want this job, I just know that some of the assignments and "work flow" that I've relied on for my classes of 12 students (high school juniors, at that) won't be practical when I'm teaching 42 8th graders. And grading over 200 essays in a weekend... yikes!
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Jun 9, 2018

    I've had years when I've had classes of 18-20 students, and I've had years when I had 36 in a class. Either way, I had the same overall number of students. It was just that some years I had three classes and some years four.

    As far as the essays, you don't grade 200 in a weekend. You stagger the due dates for the classes so you aren't ever taking up more than one class of essays at a time. I do this for all kinds of assignments just so I don't have everything to grade every time on big assignments.
     
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  4. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jun 13, 2018

    All of my classes will be huge next year, except for one of my higher-level electives, which will have around 20. I expect between 30 and 35 in all of the rest of my classes.
     
  5. MaleTeacher

    MaleTeacher Rookie

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    Jun 13, 2018

    When I was a high school aide elective (art and music) classes had around 40 students. Math classes always had less.
    I also had 36 4th graders and 32 1st graders.
     
  6. Aces

    Aces Comrade

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    Jun 26, 2018

    Stagger the essays then you're only focusing on one class at the time. Last year, I had classes ranging from 12 students to 36 students. The tests/quizzes I pass out are straight out of the textbooks and are easy to grade. The labs are based mostly on effort send understanding concepts.
     
  7. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jun 27, 2018

    For middle school writing, do shorter assignments and focus on a particular skill. Assign a body paragraph that includes a topic sentence, evidence, and explanation. Teach students how to introduce a quote properly along with MLA in-text citation. Even with high school seniors, when I assigned a “perfect paragraph,” it would take some students three revisions to get it right. I would return it (digitally—I used Google Classroom) with comments on what was wrong, but not specifics. They were free to confer with a classmate or to come ask me for help, but the object was to make them re-examine their work. I provided templates from They Say, I Say; if you’re not familiar with that book, there’s a high school edition. Of course, if your new school adheres to Jane Shaffer, you’re going to have to deal with TS, CD, CM, CS, but you can still focus on individual elements.
     
  8. socalenglish

    socalenglish Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2018

    of which were Honors. Agree with staggering due dates, if possible. I highly recommend Google Classroom. If you have students submit written work as a Googledoc, you can make comments, underline, highlight, etc. and return to student. Whole process is much quicker than reading stacks and stacks of hard copy, plus you have a digital record of student work and areas for improvement.
     
  9. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Jun 27, 2018

    If you are comfortable with them peer editing, you can have them color code each other's work. This is if you are grading only on those specific skills. This can also share more information on who is or isn't understanding the skills being taught. This can also be done electronically IF you have 1:1 (or one to 2) electronic devices.
     

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