It feels like your hand has been up for hours. Your fingers are starting to go numb. The teacher ignores your waving hand as she calls on the people around you. If only she would notice you amongst the sea of raised arms. For students in rooms 506 and 610, the pain of a comatose […]
It feels like your hand has been up for hours. Your fingers are starting to go numb. The teacher ignores your waving hand as she calls on the people around you. If only she would notice you amongst the sea of raised arms.
For students in rooms 506 and 610, the pain of a comatose arm is never an issue. Mrs. Nicole Brousseau and Mrs. Kelly Safford have forged sincere relationships with their limited number of AP Biology and AP Calculus students. With 12 hardworking individuals in AP Bio and 17 in AP Calc, the students reap the benefits of a personal relationship with their beloved teachers.
“It allows us to grow as students and to get closer and not be scared to ask questions because there is so few of us,” claims Matthew Thomas (’18), a member of the AP Bio family.
Matthew feels that having a small class allows him to build a closer bond with his classmates. With only 12 students though, he says the limited amount of people to work with can be viewed as a negative aspect to having a small class.
“There’s only a select amount of people to work with which makes it hard to meet new people,” he explains.
Mrs. Brousseau understands the perks of having an intimate class as her previous AP Biology clan was almost five times bigger. An individual relationship with her students is a must, and having a smaller class size solidifies the community in the classroom.
“Things go amazingly quicker,” she says, “Last year I had close to 50 students and everything took so much longer. There’s only one of me with at least 25 of them per class which made it hard to answer individual questions.”
Creating personal bonds with her students certifies successful communication between student and teacher. When students are comfortable with their teachers, they ask more questions and further understand the topic being studied.
“The relationship between student and teacher actually develops a lot more,” Mrs. Brousseau explains. “We have a lot more time to spend talking about not only the topic being studied but also the person themselves.”
A major part of classroom communication is a teacher understanding when his/her students are prepared for a test, or not.
“I think a Small Class is nicer because the teacher has more flexibility over the class,” says Zach Lau (’18), a mathematician in Mrs. Safford’s AP Calculus class. “Mrs. Safford only has two AP classes so she’s somewhat structured, but since the class was struggling, she moved the test back from Friday to Monday.”
Mrs. Safford prioritizes individual relationships in her classroom as her ideal learning atmosphere consists of eager students and raised hands. In her AP Calc class, the students get all the attention they need as there are so few of them.
“My favorite aspect is knowing what is going on with individual students. In a really big class, sometimes you end up paying more attention to the students who always ask questions and have their hand up,” she said. “In a smaller class you can find out what’s going on with those who aren’t prone to do that.”
Zach feels that having a small class benefits his learning because class time feels more personal.
“Whenever I have a question I feel like it always gets answered,” claims Zach. “There’s not too many people asking questions so the teacher has time to answer them.”
Patrick Wiseman (’18), who is in AP Calc with Zach, says that that having a close-knit class size not only assists in his learning, but can also alter the all-around classroom vibe from serious and quiet to fun and focused.
“I’d say it benefits me because we are allows to mess around sometimes, but still actually get everything done.”
A small class benefits student’s education as they are comfortable asking questions and having fun with their fellow students and even their teacher. A close bond between teacher and student results in teachers choosing to teach in a style individual to each student and for students to express how they prefer to be taught. The perks of a small class surely make for a fun and efficient learning experience for everyone in the classroom.