Submission

Team

Students and Teachers Suffering Due to Classroom Size
Title

Students and Teachers Suffering Due to Classroom Size

Summary

In the United States, classroom sizes range from 20-30 children in an average public school. In California, Average class size for teachers in departmentalized instruction is 31.1 students. Through research and analysis, over 87% of people who we surveyed believe that classrooms are too large which, in turn, they also believe this impacts a child's education. Children are not getting the adequate attention they need, which results in lower test scores, grades, and dysfunction amongst the classroom and school body.

Team Information
It Takes A Village
Category
Education

About the Problem

Problem Category

Education

Problem Context

Every year, classroom sizes are increasing, which means more students are receiving less attention which results in declined educational success. And undue amounts of stress for teachers.

How did you identify this problem?

One of our team members, Heidi, has noticed this problem in her children's schooling. We created a survey asking how people felt about classroom sizes and whether they felt teachers needed additional help to offset the teacher:child ratio, in which over 84% of people believed a mentor/aide would help and over 87% of people believed classroom sizes were too large. We researched the Modesto Teacher Association website, of 2022. The site clearly advocates for smaller class size, increased staffing, nurses and for community schools. News reports across the nation.

Problem Details

Who are those affected by this problem?

Public school systems, their students and their teachers. Local and nationwide communities.

How often does this problem occur?

Every day in public school systems across America.

How long has the problem been going on?

The Class Reduction Act began in 1996, however it appears that class sizes are expanding, not reducing. Clearly, it was an issue before 1996, and an even bigger issue in 2022 and is increasing student size every year.

Is the problem disrupting the community? How?

With classrooms being too large, students are not getting the help that they may desire or need. This is putting unnecessary pressure on teachers to perform, which leads to burnout and resignation. This affects the students, which leads to bullying, lower test scores and grades, and even problems at home. This affects the parents, because they are unable to help their children with the large amounts of homework- evenings should be spent resting, creativity, and family bonding. It is a vicious cycle. Our concern is teachers voices are being ignored. Bullying and suicide rates are rising. The entire community is affected when a crisis occurs.

Is the issue perceived as a problem by the community at large?

This is a problem at large affecting the United States.

Is the problem limited to certain geographic areas?

This is a problem at large affecting the United States.

Who are the Stakeholders, those wanting this problem to be fixed?

Teachers, parents, students, school board, governors, state board chairs, legislators, superintendents, school board members, principals, not to mention the public at large.

Addressing the Problem

Are you aware of any solutions, approaches, or efforts to tackle this problem?

We suggest to increase staffing first. This approach will give teachers and students the immediate attention needed. Implement mentorship or guidance programs available to all students from community social workers. We desire to get parental volunteers back in the classroom on a schedule which will boost morale and give a helping hand to the teachers. We plan to offer In-School Health Services. This will offer someone like a school nurse or school counselor for mandatory "mental health check-ups" on all kids, which will create trust in someone a child can go to when they need help. Phase two would naturally reduce classroom sizes with new trained staff. Steps we would like to promote: *Teacher incentive programs *Partner with social workers - someone who is already trained and no need for additional funds; instead of these social workers working behind a desk or cubicle, they can be made available on campus or in the classroom. *Credits for college students who participate in community schools. *Promote parental volunteers *Teach students to give back by including members from our community and invite senior citizens to school plays and programs. This training embraces the full circle of life and community, that we believe should be taught. Heidi has also personal taken a step forward to put action to our words and is in the process of becoming a substitute teacher/aide while finishing her degree.

What are the obstacles you are aware of to address the problem?

Getting the movement started. Securing safety and back ground checks for volunteers. Funding may be an issue for some courses of action. However, if we used already trained professionals, positions that are already in use at the schools, and volunteers, this obstacle may be avoided.

What are the success criteria that could be defined to address this problem?

Adding in volunteers and relocating social workers to the classroom and campus will offset the workload that teachers are forced to work with too many children in their classrooms. It will offer another authority figure for children to talk to when they need or desire help and make classroom sizes more manageable. Offering health services, such as counseling for mandatory "mental health check-ups" will ensure all students are feeling seen and heard, so they don't fall through the cracks of education. This boost of morale will help to engage children, which will improve their testing scores and grade, and also behavior in and out of school. It is an all-encompassing solution to the problem at hand. We desire to network to attain teacher incentive programs, credits for college student participation and partner with community social works.