Smaller class sizes bring advantages

Senior+Ruth+Hayward+works+in+teacher+Julie+Headrick%27s+yearbook+class.++On+her+%22Blue%22+schedule+day%2C+12+other+students+are+in+this+class+with+Hayward.

Senior Ruth Hayward works in teacher Julie Headrick’s yearbook class. On her “Blue” schedule day, 12 other students are in this class with Hayward.

Keira Leitner, Staff Writer

Tallmadge High School and high schools all around the country have changed  to protect their students and staff from Covid-19. Because one guideline is not gathering in large groups, class sizes are smaller with most Tallmadge High School classes capping at 15 students to ensure six feet distance between students. 

Teacher Joni Giles said she is enjoying smaller class sizes, even though it is a big change from last year.  

“I am really enjoying the smaller classes.  It seems as though my students are understanding the content better and I am able to get through the content more quickly,” Giles said. 

Tallmadge Schools offered two options for student education this year. Students could choose to do hybrid classes, alternating one day at school and one day remote.  Or they could go completely online. Teachers have the students on the hybrid schedule. 

“I give the students assignments they can do at home—additional learning resources and detailed content instruction that will help and reinforce what I will be teaching in class; however, it is difficult when a few of the students do not have the discipline to stay on track and complete the assignments at home,” Giles said about the hybrid schedule.

Having hybrid classes and less students in classes definitely affects everyone. Teachers have needed to adapt to having a lot less students and having to teach in a different way. Also kids are adapting because they will be spread apart from other students and will be away from their friends. 

“I am sure the kids miss being in class with their friends—I know when I was younger I loved being with my friends; however, with this pandemic, we need every little moment of their attention and having the students honing in on their listening skills is so critical right now so they can learn and be successful,” Giles said. “I wish this ordeal would end; however, we are going to be in this pandemic for a while. It will get better someday again.” 

Teacher Jon Shomo describes that the district is doing a good job of adjusting and with the hybrid schedule.

I think different students thrive in different environments,” Shomo said. Any time the class numbers aren’t huge is preferable.  Having just three or four students at a time can be a bit boring, as it makes it harder to get discussions going.”

Teacher Mark Horner said he does enjoy smaller classes. 

I do find it easier to work with a smaller class size. It allows me to really get to know the students on a personal level. This helps me relate the information better to them. It also allows for an environment for students to feel more comfortable to ask questions and not feel intimidated by large numbers of people,” Horner said.

Horner said that he believes that having a smaller class will let the kids be more comfortable than in a bigger classroom. He also believes that the kids do learn better because it is more one on one.