Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Class Begins!

Today was great! The kids came in with good attitudes and adjusted to large classes and schedule changes like champs.

I played a game with the class based on Tri-Bond board games. We sat in groups of 3-4, and they competed with 10 quick puzzles to solve. We completed multiple rounds in each class, and the students enjoyed this much more than simply going over rules. Plus, I get to see them in action and get to know them.

My new class, the College in the High School class (Survey of Americn Lit.), started today and the kids looked scared. I actually had to laugh a bit, to myself of course, but it was funny. They have homework tonight--vocabulary and an introductory letter--and we start reading Fools Crow by James Welch this week. Hitting the ground running!

My only concern today was class size. Mine ranged from 28-35. The district keeps saying Freshmen are the biggest at-risk group we have, and our fearless leaders aren't afraid to "do whatever is necessary" to help them. Of course, this means Freshman English class sizes are the second highest in the school (only Sophomore English classes are larger). The average Freshman English class is filled with 32 students. What a disservice!

The Department Head and I met after school to discuss how to reduce some class sizes if we get an extra teacher this week. That was a good conversation.

Unfortunately, we have to reduce the College in the High School classes by 6 students since they are not allowed to be over 32 students (now we have 34, 35, 33). My suggestion to her was to remove the superintendent's daughter and the two most prominent families' kids. If that doesn't spark some changes, nothing will.

Wound a sacred cow, and the whole village notices!

5 comments:

Repairman said...

You are a brave dude, DrP! Supe's daughter? You have my respect. ;-)

High school LA classes should not be so large. It's too bad for the kids and really bad news for a conscientious teacher.

The district's right about the freshman at risk thing, but they need to walk the talk. We're piloting a freshman academy in one of our high schools and the others are doing their best to address the issues.

Best of luck!

Mrs. Chili said...

"My suggestion to her was to remove the superintendent's daughter and the two most prominent families' kids. If that doesn't spark some changes, nothing will.

Wound a sacred cow, and the whole village notices!"



I LOVE the way you think!

Future Spanish Teacher said...

After just graduating, I know first hand what a 32-person class, let alone 35-person class, can do as far as being detrimental to progress. Our mandatory you-can't-even-test-out-of-it Government class was 35 kids in a class each, with curriculum basically handed down from the state. Sorry, but education isn't a package meal. So thank you, from the student-perspective, for making the point of class sizes.

DrPezz said...

Thanks for the kind words everyone!

Miss! said...

TriBond! I absolutely love that game and never thought of using it in my classes before. I can see it now...

Thanks for the good ideas, I'll have to keep following for more :)