“Our mission is to facilitate maximum learning for every student.” When I walk through the hallways at school, I hear, “I am doing terrible in my class, and I am continuing to get bad grades. It is all because of the teacher”. This occurs on a daily basis.
It is simply not possible for teachers to address the needs of every student because each teacher has their own unique teaching style and students have their own learning style. With class sizes constantly increasing as the school struggles to accommodate the surplus of students, it is virtually impossible for a single teacher to personally guide each and every student.
A teacher has their set ways of teaching material. It is highly unlikely for teachers to adjust their style so that it would work for every student in the classroom. Some students enjoy lectures and taking notes, while others enjoy hands-on activities or discussions. Some enjoy a quiet environment while others enjoy it when it is noisy. Not every student is capable of receiving the learning style they desire.
Another substantial issue is the fact that there is typically only one teacher in a classroom, which makes it difficult for a single teacher to help each student. According to Niche, a professional review site, the average student to teacher ratio in the Olentangy school district is 20:1. Due to the large class sizes, instructors are unable to maximize everyone’s learning because the students are not getting the individualized instruction that they need. If they are not getting the instruction they need, it is possible that they may fall behind. Teachers attempt to work one-on-one with students but it isn’t always possible. A lot of times students have to rely on other peers for help, which doesn’t always work well. Sometimes, students just need that guided direction or reassurance from a teacher.
In addition, teachers cannot gain that personal connection with every adolescent when class sizes are large. It is especially difficult in high school when a typical teacher has more than 150 students they teach per day. A personal connection is vital for a child's academic development. According to the American Psychological Association, those who have a good relationship with their teacher will attain higher levels of academic achievement. For a student who has 20 or more peers in their class, it makes it nearly impossible for each of them to build that relationship.
Adolescents tend to be more engaged and focused when the class size is smaller. According to the Brookings Institute, a professional research site, it appears that having seven to 10 fewer students per large class, can have significant long-term effects on student learning and success.
However, even though the Olentangy district tends to have large classes, it is the student’s job to adapt to the environment. Many students choose to go to colleges with large class sizes, such as The Ohio State University, and this is on a much smaller scale than that.
Due to the overcrowding issues in the Olentangy district, a new high school will be built. The hope is that with the new high school and redistricting, Olentangy will be able to maximize everyone’s learning.