Sunday, August 17, 2008

School Days

I love summer vacation and now it is ending. School unofficially starts next week. Here is how I know:

1. Nightmares about teaching crazy kids
2. Increased emails from fellow teachers and administration
3. Emails with words of encouragement from former classmates in the Biology Teaching major - "Brethren press on!"
4. Trapper keepers, pens, and markers are on sale at Target.

I keep having dreams/nightmares that I'm teaching about 100 students packed into a small and unfamiliar classroom and am trying to yell above all of them to get my lesson across. That's actually one of the things that is a problem in Utah's education system. There needs to be an effective way to cut down class sizes. Research has proven that children learn better in smaller classes because teachers can give more individual attention to each of their students. My largest class last year was 34 kids. Not great. Being a teacher, education is one of the top 3 topics that I'm researching in the political candidates for elections this November. From what I've read so far, McCain seems very pro voucher (it's more difficult to search on his campaign website by topic). Obama seems more positive about public school and reforming No Child Left Behind. I still have a lot of research to do on both.

By the way, the others items on my top 3 list are the environment - Yes I know, so trendy right now, but I'm a biology major and grew up in a city that taught water conservation and recycling in grade school. Give me a break! The last is health care. I don't know if I'll be teaching forever and John's company doesn't provide health insurance yet. We also want to have kids. Giving birth is expensive.

2 comments:

Jethro said...

I heard about a recent study that showed that smaller class sizes did not actually produce significant student gains in achievement until the size got down to about 15 students. That would take a lot to reduce our classes by more than half. We have 28,28,29,31,31, and 29 students in our six class right now. ;) That is more even than last year, but not necessarily better though. Actually, our average class size was 28.5 last year, and this year it is 29.33. That stinks. It sure would be nice to have them around 20. That is a great class size. See you tomorrow!

Kris said...

Try $12,000.00 expensive if you have a baby via c-section and then that cute baby has to go into a Level II nursery for 3 days. Oh and then another $1800.00 if that same cute baby gets RSV 7 weeks later and has to go back.

Yeah, health insurance is GOOD. Needless to say Lauren started out telling us to "Get ready, I'm prepared to smile at you and then drain your wallets!"