My first year of teaching I had 28 students. There were barely enough desks in the classroom.
It was the largest class I ever taught.
The fun part though was our daily science class.
A self contained special education class pushed into our regular education science class almost every day. 12 more students. 4 additional adults. 7 extra chairs pushed across the hall each day.
A grand total of 45 human beings in the classroom each doing their best to learn more about science.
Hands on lessons. Discussions. Science experiments. Nature demonstrations. We tried it all. And failed. And tried it again.
I would be interested to talk now to a student who sat in that class every day so that I could get their perspective.
I’m not sure if any learning took place…
on the student side.
I can tell you everything that I learned from that experience.
I learned about engagement, participation, management, content, teaching strategies, differentiation, scaffolding, modeling, inclusion.
Most of all, I learned that there’s a lot that goes into teaching.
That and you should never try to complete a hands on science experiment with 40 fifth grade students in one room!
Pick up your copy of The Secret Sauce: Essential Ingredients for Exceptional Teaching.