Alexandria Malcolm ‘17 – With scheduling right around the corner, comes the dilemma of choosing classes for the following year. But with the cutting of several classes at RHS, including the French program, AP German, AP Spanish, and Commercial Arts, elective options are limited. Although, there is the possibility of AP German and Spanish returning to schedules during the 2016-2017 school year if enough students sign up. This also means other classes that otherwise would have a max of thirty students are now filled to the brim, and students are forced to take classes that they have little to no interest in.
With classes filled to the maximum, it’s easy for a student to feel looked over. This is never the teacher’s intention, but when thirty to thirty-five people need their attention, and fifty-six minutes to cover the curriculum, it’s difficult to give each person what they want or need. A smaller class would give the advantage of more one on one time with the teacher.
“You have less of an individual experience, and it’s harder to ask questions when there are more students,” Devin Baysa ‘18 said. “Also, the teachers seem less stressed when there are less students.”
It is a popular opinion that every student should find at least one class that they find interesting during the course of high school. A class that lets them express themselves and motivates them to get through the day, often times students find this passion in smaller classes.
Of course it’s impossible to have everyone win. There’s always the question of what the pay off in a class that would only have five to ten people in it. Is that really in the best interest of the school to hold and waste funds that would be beneficial in more populous classes? Some people would argue yes, because it meets the wants of students that would otherwise feel overlooked.
“I like having a bigger class because it gives some more the more independent students some freedom,” Michael Bradley ‘17 said. “And there is always people around if you need help.”
According to a recently conducted poll, 90% of students would take a class even if there was a low sign up.
“It is a lot easier to teach smaller classes,” Ms. Mies, a science teacher at RHS said. “Especially when it comes to science. When it comes to labs, and there’s thirty five to thirty six students in the lab it’s a lot harder to look over everyone than it is when there’s fifteen to twenty.”
Having low sign ups isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and most definitely does not mean that the class should be cut. The smaller the class, the more intense and in depth the class is able to go into the subject. Students are able to better understand topics that in other cases would only be lightly touched on.
While teachers fear not having enough students, it’s good to remember that a larger class doesn’t mean a better class, and just because it is a smaller class doesn’t mean it should be cut.