Size Doesn’t Matter

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Size Doesn’t Matter

For elementary school, a “small class” is usually 20 students or less; however, in high school “small classes” are considered to be a little larger (Photo courtesy of Kamryn Mattison).

For elementary school, a “small class” is usually 20 students or less; however, in high school “small classes” are considered to be a little larger (Photo courtesy of Kamryn Mattison).

For elementary school, a “small class” is usually 20 students or less; however, in high school “small classes” are considered to be a little larger (Photo courtesy of Kamryn Mattison).

For elementary school, a “small class” is usually 20 students or less; however, in high school “small classes” are considered to be a little larger (Photo courtesy of Kamryn Mattison).

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The number of people in a classroom differs from school to school, depending on the size of the school, how many people each graduation class consists of, and the number of available teachers. It is not uncommon for a student’s learning to be affected by the number of people in one classroom at a time.

“In bigger classes, you have to compete for the teacher’s time and attention and in smaller classes there is easier access to the teacher. I work better in smaller classes because I can get the help I need on the spot, rather than having to wait,” said senior Destiny Sullivan.

Small classes can benefit almost everyone; however, some people do not need to be in a small class to succeed. Though it can be tough, there are some pros to being in larger classes.

“I work better in small classes, but I don’t think class size is a must have for proper learning, although it can be an important tool. I work better with the teacher and am less nervous when we have to present and things like that in small classes, but I’m totally fine with being in bigger classes too,” said junior Marnie Michael.

On the other hand, small classes are easier for many people to deal with due to easy access to teacher help. Sometimes, getting to know a teacher can be a vital part in a student’s learning because it can make it easier for the student to go to the teacher when they are struggling. Therefore, there are many pros to classrooms with fewer students. Classes that don’t have many students in them create an easier environment because students don’t have to be nervous to talk in front of the class. Also, they enable the teacher to be able to give more attention to certain students as soon as they need assistance.

“I work better in smaller classes because it is easier for me to pay attention. There aren’t as many distractions going on and it is easier to speak in front of a fewer amount of people. Also, it makes it easier to access my teachers,” said junior Cassidy Hill.

Even though small and large classes both have some pros, they both also have cons. There are many different reasons why small classes can hinder a student’s learning and why a larger class can do the same. Small classes have less people, which can make it harder to do group activities in the class; larger classes consist of more distractions for the teachers and students because of the great amount of students present.

“Small classes have less people.  When you have to get in groups to do activities and projects, there aren’t many people to work with so your group would be smaller. Larger classes have a higher distraction level. The teacher is more distracted with other students, and the students are also more distracted and tend to goof off more because the teacher isn’t paying as much attention,” said Michael.

Everyone has a preference and everyone learns differently, so class size opinions will differ from person to person. Education is very important, so it is critical that everyone realizes what is beneficial to their learning. However, students do not have much of a say in the size of the classes they get put into; if a student who prefers smaller classes is sent into a larger class, that student may have to work harder to achieve his/her goals due to the setbacks that they may be facing in the larger class. Setbacks may include Glossophobia or being distracted by all of the different things going on in the classroom.

“I don’t mind bigger classes at all. I like talking in front of people , so it doesn’t really phase me at all. It is really fun to be in bigger classes when we do presentations because I like to be in front of people, but I can understand why some people work better in smaller environments. I can do both so it isn’t really a big deal to me,” said sophomore Breanna Hargett.

Some students may not be affected by larger classes, but many students work better in a smaller environment. Everything depends on the individual student. At the end of the day, larger classes, in some cases, can be more beneficial than smaller classes and vice versa. Everyone must be able to adapt because school is preparing us for the real world, and this is one of the things we have to learn from and use in our future everyday lives.

“Class size is really based on the teacher. Some will be fine in large classes but some will need to be close to the teacher. School is not only teaching us things that will help us get into college and eventually get jobs; it is also showing us that we have to learn to work with the things we have, even if that means we have to work a little harder,” said Sullivan.

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