HUGE Class sizes in middle school

Discussion in 'General Education' started by justwanttoteach, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    I start school tomorrow. I am feeling overwhelmed! Admin/counselors are still working out the kinks in the master schedule. However, we all know that the first days of school are critical. I have a class of 45 kids, another class of 44 kids, another class of 38 kids, a class of 36 kids, and I am told I will have one more period...which they are still adding kids too. 45 kids!? I have 36 desks in my classroom....where am I to put the other 9 students? I dont have room for 10 more desks...I am anxious about managing 45 junior high kids in a small space....tips? Suggestions for survival? If this is not proof of a teacher shortage....I am not sure what is...Oy! ok thanks for listening...going to figure out some activities for tomorrow....
     
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  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Rookie

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    That's crazy! Are you sure it's proof of a teacher shortage? Or is it proof of financial strains within your district? Either way, I don't know how they expect you to teach 45 kids with only 36 desks. And the fact that you start school tomorrow and they are still fixing the schedule is crazy as well. Our schedule is worked out in June before we leave for summer. Have you approached your admin about the desk situation?
     
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  4. bella84

    bella84 Enthusiast

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    I was thinking the same.
     
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  5. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Rookie

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    Janitors! There have to be extra desks or chairs someone. Our principal has no clue about things like this. When we need something fast, we ask our janitors and they will work their magic. Ten extra is a lot though. Those class numbers are insane. Can you get rid of some furniture or your desk to make room? Do other teachers have this number? You need to have at least chairs for these kids. You can't let them sit on the floor. Can you get an extra table with some chairs to wedge in? This sounds like a disaster in the making. I would see if they can redo the schedule.

    If nothing can be done and you have these numbers, I would start out extremely strict and doing a lot in partners and groups. In my bigger classes, I would take attendance and give the directions/lesson at the start of the class. If the class was quiet and listening, then the rest of the time was theirs to work in groups. I put maybe two or three in the hallway and let some sit on the floor as long as they are working. If the class was talking out and not listening, they would have to work on their own and the handouts would be due at the end of the class. (Then, I would grade them.) I only had to make them work alone and grade the packets ONCE. After that, it was hectic, but better.
     
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  6. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    The class size debate rages on everywhere. I have friends getting ready for 40 or more when they are used to 25. Illinois is a really weird place right now, where schools are going to the press with "drop dead" dates for the school year (the first GSA payment is supposed to be tomorrow but is held up by the state).
     
  7. Fun_Teacher

    Fun_Teacher Rookie

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    To be honest, you may want to add in two tables that can seat at least five students.
    How about switching double up desks?
    25 of those and you'll be fine!
    I have never had a class with that size.
    My biggest class was about 32 students. That was my first year of teaching. It was an Intervention Math Class, because I was an Algebra I CC teacher back then. I managed this situation by using a small-group model. I sent some students to the hallway to work on an independent math assignment.
    Also, good luck!
     
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  8. vickilyn

    vickilyn Maven

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    I honestly can't imagine classes that size. Do you get an aide?
     
  9. anon55

    anon55 Comrade

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    I'm dealing with very similar numbers. It's outrageous. I really like the idea of sending a few kids to sit in the hallway or outside. Could be useful. You can try it either way: put misbehaving kids outside so you can teach better, or the good kids you can see you can trust. What state are you in out of curiosity?
     
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  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't think that this is a good idea. Naughty kids in the hallway cause problems for all the other teachers in the hallway. All students, behaving and otherwise, should be supervised and have access to a teacher at all times. They shouldn't be relegated to the hallway. I'd be really upset to learn that my own kid was shipped out to the hallway because the teacher wanted to focus on needier children in the classroom. Like, why am I even sending my kid to school if there isn't access to a teacher?
     
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  11. rpan

    rpan Companion

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    Those are pretty large class sizes, I don't envy you one bit. But it's interesting to note that class sizes of 40+ are pretty common in some Asian countries, so it's difficult but not impossible. And research (John Hattie) does show that large class sizes don't really have as big of a negative impact on students achievement as one may think. So it's not all bad news, but your workload, oh boy...
     
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  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I simply do not believe that it benefits students in any way whatsoever to be crammed like sardines with 49 other students into a room designed for 23. I further believe, based on my own experience and observation, that such large class sizes actually hinder student learning. Perhaps schools with different student populations might not have similar results when it comes to large class sizes.
     
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  13. bella84

    bella84 Enthusiast

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    I'm aware of Hattie's research, but I think it's really dependent upon the instructional methods in the classroom. Sure, if you teach with a lecture format, adding 10 more students isn't really a big deal. On the other hand, if you teach with one-on-one conferences or small groups, there's no way you can tell me that having a large class size doesn't have a negative impact on achievement.
     
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  14. DAH

    DAH Companion

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    Aug 11, 2017

    [QUOTE="rpan, class sizes of 40+ are pretty common in some Asian countries, so it's difficult but not impossible. .[/QUOTE]

    It could be possible if the student body is soft-spoken with respectful, modest behavior, whose ultimate goal is to learn (like most Asian students). But if this is in America, I'm feeling REAL SORRY for her, ESPECIALLY if it's in an inner city! Ooh boy!:helpme:
    I hope she has a few years under her belt, so that she doesn't feel like jumping out of the window in a few weeks.

    7th graders are TOUGH STUFF.
    But it can be done. I would comb the internet looking for people who have SUCCESSFULLY handled similar situations and use their method as a model.
    Good luck, and keep us informed.
    I'd love to know how you finally pulled it together.
     
  15. rpan

    rpan Companion

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    Class size can have a negative impact on student achievement but not as much as say an ineffective teacher (I'm not implying that OP or anyone is ineffective). You are right in saying the instructional method has a big impact. I guess we have to be flexible if the class size is out of our control, we have to change the way we deliver the lesson or change up the activities or fight to get some help etc.
     
  16. rpan

    rpan Companion

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    It could be possible if the student body is soft-spoken with respectful, modest behavior, whose ultimate goal is to learn (like most Asian students). But if this is in America, I'm feeling REAL SORRY for her, ESPECIALLY if it's in an inner city! Ooh boy!:helpme:
    [/QUOTE]

    I'm generalising here, because I've observed this personally. There is more esteem held for teachers in much of Asia by students and parents. Teachers are respected. Students may or may not be more soft spoken but there is such a drive to succeed it overcomes the teenage urge to be inattentive or unfocused. So a larger class size is probably easier to manage from day one in any class with these types of students.
     
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  17. anon55

    anon55 Comrade

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    I think you misunderstood my post. I wasn't suggesting "putting naughty kids in the hallway". I meant allowing kids to work in small groups outside (such as sitting under a tree) or in the hallway. Students who would otherwise have behavioral problems, especially in a large class, may benefit from having more space and a more non-traditional environment. Some students really do better working outside.
     
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  18. anon55

    anon55 Comrade

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    I'm generalising here, because I've observed this personally. There is more esteem held for teachers in much of Asia by students and parents. Teachers are respected. Students may or may not be more soft spoken but there is such a drive to succeed it overcomes the teenage urge to be inattentive or unfocused. So a larger class size is probably easier to manage from day one in any class with these types of students.[/QUOTE]
    I want the smallest class size possible. But I can say that a huge class matters a lot less with kids that are at grade level and well-behaved.
     
  19. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    So my classes are still pretty big but I am told they are working on it! The first weeks of school is tiring. But I like my kids...they are true chatter boxes but they have lots to offer and work with! Hope everyone else year is fantastic
     
  20. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    What state is this?
     
  21. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    CA
     

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