1 Minute 45 Seconds

By Rose Janusz, Seventh Grade Social Studies Teacher from Portland, OR

My name is Rose Janusz. I’m in my 17th year of teaching middle school social studies in North Clackamas School District. I’m lucky enough to teach in the same district where I attended school and graduated from as a student.

While I feel lucky to be in an amazing district, since the passage of Measure 5, I have watched teachers who made a big difference in my life and education be cut. For example, I was excited to play in Jazz Band as a student until the teacher was cut. The district was able to hire another teacher half-time but with less passion for the subject.

“With these student loads, the time devoted to each student is 1 minute 45 seconds.”

I have experienced teaching social studies and language arts to classes of 28 middle schoolers, starting with my first year teaching. I was shocked when my class size grew to 30 within year two. In year 17, now I teach classes of 40 students, with a total student load of 278. My subject has less and less time each year because social studies is not a tested subject. With these student loads, the time devoted to each student is 1 minute 45 seconds. Because some students need more time than others, some students get no time at all.

Connections are a vital part of a teacher’s job. I am finding it difficult with these loads of students to even remember every name within the first few weeks of school. How can our students believe we care, if we have so many we can’t even learn their names?

Rose Janusz is a Seventh Grade Social Studies Teacher in Portland, OR. #OReducatorvoices