For 23 of my 33 years in teaching I had no less than 35 students in each of my classes. One year I had six sections. When I first started teaching in the early sixty's, between 40-50 was the rule. I'm glad I was young when I had those big classes. I don't know if I would have the energy now. I commend each and every teacher with a large class. It is never easy, even with the best students. There is so, so much paper work.
Now my largest class is never more than 23. Usually, the average is 16-18. Yes, I'm in a private school. I have five classes and five preps. But, I don't have 150 students to evaluate. I have 85. Small classes mean more room for the students and for me. It means less noise. I could go on and on. Ten years (give or take a couple of years) I read an article that stated research had indicated that 15 was an optimal size. I am convinced that is so.
I also believe there would be less fuss with ability grouping if there were small classes. The teacher would have the time to differentiate. --
Math History Lives!
Karen Dee Michalowicz VQUEST Math Lead Teacher/Trainer Upper School Mathematics Chair Virginia Quality Education The Langley School in Sciences and Technology 1411 Balls Hill Rd, McLean, VA 22012 USA 703-356-1920(w) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (703) 790-9712 --or-- KarenDM@aol.com