The Challenges of Teaching 30+ Students

Imagine yourself in high school, sitting in a class full of 40 students. The teacher is standing in the front of the class teaching Shakespeare.

You raise your hand because you have a question about Hamlet, but you are overlooked as three other students also raise their hands.

You quietly wait for the teacher to finish answering the other students’ questions before you ask your own question. You do not have a chance to ask it as the bell rings, dismissing class.

Funding and Arizona Classroom Sizes

By Keshia Butts | Dec. 8, 2015

Some teachers at Mountain Pointe High School can have up to 60 students in one class, according to teachers. Several teachers at this school say these large classroom sizes not only affect student performance, but also impact teachers' abilities to provide feedback to students.

Students in smaller classes perform better than students in larger ones, according to the website of the National Council of Teachers of English. Students in smaller classes tend to be almost two months of content knowledge ahead of students in larger classes, according to the council.

Low funding affects the school's ability to hire enough teachers to make class sizes smaller, according to Charles Tack, the Communications Officer for the Arizona Department of Education.

“Higher class sizes are a reflection of the funding they are receiving.” Tack said.

Deborah Perez, a Guidance Assistant at Mountain Pointe, knows firsthand how these large class sizes can distract students during tests.

“Maybe some of the students are overlooked or just don’t have time to finish tests, so I think that might have an impact on the score that they get,” Perez said.

The Arizona Department of Education is currently looking to dedicate more funding to hiring teachers or making class sizes smaller.

State funding towards education has affected class sizes at Mountain Pointe High School. This is a comparison of the average class sizes at Mountain Pointe High School, across the U.S. and in Arizona.

Copy Editor | Courtney Columbus

Media Editor | Ao Gao

Graphic Editor | Keshia Butts

Web Editor | Adam DeRose

A collection of stories created by the 2015-2016 graduate students

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

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