At the beginning of the semester several of my classes were at 40 students – I know for some this is the norm, but for us this is something to complain about. So after some quick discussions, it was decided that a couple special program classes would be discontinued (both of which were at 21 students) and both the US and world history classes would be balanced. I generally believed this to be a good thing. First, I only have 38 desks. I could get more, but for the first time in years, I like how my room is currently configured and more would disrupt it. Second, one of the three classes, needed to be smaller. The other two are two of my better classes and I could handle the larger numbers.
So they balanced out the classes, my special program class of 21 became a class of 38. Fun. Then the shocker. Six students are transferred out of my US History class of 40 to another teacher. Four of my eight A’s from last semester, the biggest contributors to class discussions, and not one of the kids I would have picked. They all showed up at once to sign-out, a couple are close to tears. They all went to a great teacher, who shares the same teaching philosophy as myself, but he has a student teacher and while she may turn out to be great, it is hard to tell the kids that the experience will be the same.
I know that last year I would have been more indifferent to all of this. Part of it was the lack of sleep (my youngest son was waking up 4-10 times a night) and the other part was that I just didn’t feel as connected to my classes last year. This year I seem to have reconnected. My classroom dynamics are, well, more dynamic. Hopefully, in a couple weeks, the changes brought by the new semester will settle and we will return to a state of normalcy. (An inside joke for you US History teachers – I just spent the week teaching the 1920’s).