Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Dodged one this time.

The Scenario:  7th grade classes have 46 per, 9th grade Math has 32 per.

The Solution:  Eliminate one Algebra class, use that FTE* to open up another 7th grade class.

I accept that these kind of decisions are a part of life teaching in Utah (and other places too, but not as bad because Utah is proud to be dead last in per pupil spending and #1 for big classes).  The problem was that when I first heard about this from a certain, previously herein mentioned Math teacher, it was made to sound like my classes were going to increase by 6 to 8 students every period.  My classes, because now I teach all but 1 section of 9th grade Algebra.

After hearing the rumor, I went to see the principal to see what the reality was.  I have found that there is often a big chasm between these kind of gut reaction rumors and what is really going on.  And, alas, I was right.  The principal confirmed that the Algebra class was being disbanded.  She also pointed out that since 1/3 of the class was 8th grade, the max I would get was the 2/3, spread over 4 of my classes would work out to be about 4 or 5 kids a class. 

Now, to be frank, my class sizes seemed kind of low (I fear giving actual numbers here), so I have been expecting the other shoe to drop since the beginning of the year.  4 or 5 more per class, and I’d still have been 5 below my average last year.

Here’s the kicker.  8th period (the same time as the class that was disbanded) went up 6 students.  The rest?  A maximum of 2.  Why?, you may ask.  G’head, ask. 

Because said, aforementioned, Math teacher wanted to keep a bunch of her students, so they all got assimilated into her 8th grade Algebra classes.  All fine and dandy, but tell me, why the hell is she still complaining about her class sizes when it was her choice?  I would have, reluctantly yes, taken those kids into my classes.  I fully expected to have no choice, and prepared to make the best of things.  And, yes, I am glad that she chose to keep those student, but I half expect that she only did it so that she would have something to bitch about.

I could be wrong.


A Paperback Writer said...

And we're playing team shuffle at our school, trying to even out class sizes. Right now, the kids all have one schedule according to the computer, but a different one according to where they're actually going. This makes taking roll a pain in the butt.
Sorry about the witch with a capital B you're dealing with.

Jeff said...

I think you answered your own question in a way: she wanted her choice of kids but still have something to grouse about. I work with all kinds of those.