How many is too many?

I have spent a week now in the Library at my son's school and the classes seem way too big. How does a teacher get anything taught when there are so many kids?

This year N has 27 kids in his class. This seems to be the norm at his Intermediate school. One teacher said that she has 26 kids during regular class, but that number rises to 31 during math when kids move around due to differentiation.

I also heard about a kid in the high school who had to take a test standing up because there aren't enough chairs in her classroom.

How many kids is too many? Is there a magic number? I would have said 16-20. Large colleges can have lectures with 500 people. But this ain't about college!

When I think back to 5th grade I remember Mrs. Hoffman's class fondly . At one point there were 31 kids in that class! Our desks were lined up in 5 rows of 6 desks. Nonetheless it was my favorite year. I believe I learned a lot that year. Maybe I learned a lesson that I didn't realize: great teachers deal what's dealt to them. (Not that I think they should have 30 kids in a class!). Out of those 31 kids, I felt like I was her favorite in the class. Turns out I'm not the only one who felt that way. Did she make all 31 kids feel just as special?

This isn't the first time public schools have been in the economic dumpster. I just hope my son comes out of 5th grade thinking he's learned a lot. If everyone feels that way, then it's a good chance the teacher is just as great as Mrs. Hoffman!


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