When classes are too big

This is not a complaint post in the traditional sense.  In fact, some may be surprised by what I have to say.  My classes are all sitting at about 33 students.  My classroom has 36 drop down lab stations meaning my classes cannot go over 36.  I am fine with taking up to 36 students–I know, that may sound insane, but it is the truth.  3 of my 6 classes are level 3 on-level, and I am the only person on my campus who teaches that course so far this year.  We are 3 weeks in, and the 3 honors students are dropping like flies.  The solution from Admin is to combine 2 classes of 3H (and redistribute a few of those students), then open another section of level 3 on-level with a different teacher.  Then some of my students will be shifted to the new section with someone else.  It is the only solution to leveling out the on-level classes, but that does not make it any easier.

Now let me preface the next part with something that must be said: this teacher who will add a section of on-level is FABULOUS!  I adore her as a friend, colleague, mentor and teacher.  The students are LUCKY to get her and she will love them as much as I do too.  Still, I am sad to lose any of my students :(.  I am not sad because I think they won’t succeed with someone else.  I am sad because I have invested so much in them, and am already in love with my classes.  I know I am being selfish though.  Class size definitely can affect student success when students struggle.  I know in my heart that it is better for them to be in smaller classes to receive more individualized attention.  Nevertheless, I will miss anyone who is moved from my class.

This type of thing happens a lot in elementary school.  In fact, I recently heard from some friends about losing teammates 2 weeks in.  The enrollment was not high enough so they combined classes at that school and transferred the teammates to another campus that had higher enrollment.  That’s rough!  Not only did they lose their students, but their whole school and friends.  At least I am not in the market to lose all of my students.  How awful that would be!!!!

Right now, nothing is set in stone.  Our Admin is awesome and respectful of our wishes.  She agreed to give it a weekend to see what happens as performanc-based quiz grades go in.  We want to see if that inspires students to stay in 3H or drop down to on-level.  So I am still holding onto hope that only 1 or 2 more drop so I can keep them all.  If you are a praying person, pray that the students stop dropping! 🙂  Thank you!

And yes, I know I am crazy.  I have 192 students right now, and am willing to add more :).

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