One-On-One Time Is Critical

By Jennifer Scurlock, High School English Teacher from Eugene, OR

I’ve been an educator for 14 years. I love kids and I love learning. My students are strong, beautiful and full of promise.

Unfortunately, with the increase in class sizes, my students are unable to receive the one-on-one support they need from me. My classroom, which was designed for twenty-five students, is overcrowded with close to forty students.

Dyads and small discussion groups, which promote critical thinking and collaboration, are nearly impossible to do now because my students do not have enough room to physically move around. Individual writing conferences — which I am rarely able to do with so many students — help students increase their overall writing scores with feedback on ideas and content, sentence fluency, organization, and conventions.

Over one-third of my students have an IEP (Individual Education Plan), a 504 Plan, or a Modified Diploma plan. I have one aide that works with just four students in my class.

My students desperately need more one-on-one time with me, and I want to give that to them, but with such large class sizes it is impossible for me to do so.

Our students deserve smaller class sizes. Our students deserve the opportunity to have more one-on-one time with their teachers. Our students, who have dreams that extend beyond high school, need our full support so that they are college ready and have the tools needed to take the next steps toward a life beyond high school.

Let’s do what is right and necessary for all of our students.

Jennifer Scurlock is an English teacher in Eugene, Oregon.

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