I hate to break it to you, but the styles and methods of teachers in high income areas are not any better than the styles and methods of teachers in low income areas. I speak this truth because I have lived this truth. My experiences teaching and observing colleagues in low income and high income areas while soaking up every teaching methodology and professional development opportunity like a sponge served me beautifully, and I will forever cherish these experiences and utilize my knowledge when working with students and families.
I’ll be alarmingly honest.
I expected to see teachers beyond my wildest expectations ever when I taught in an affluent town in Georgia, but I soon realized that the teachers were equally as fabulous across the board whether the school I was teaching in was urban, rural, or suburban or whether I was in a low income or high income part of the state. Teachers in a “good school” and teachers in a “bad school” are trying their very best to serve and support students and families. I assure you.
You see, it isn’t the teachers who are so vastly different.
The biggest difference I saw in a school being a successful place for learning were the behaviors in the classroom.
Before you screech to a halt in haste, let me explain.
Equal class sizes will never be equitable.
Can an 8th grade teacher effectively teach over 30 students who can read and write successfully? Sure thing.
Can two 8th grade teachers effectively teach a class of over 30 students when 18 of these students cannot read beyond a 4th grade reading level if at all? Unfortunately not.
You change the class size; you change the performance. You change the performance, you open opportunity.
When every student is seen, heard, and supported as an individual, students thrive!
Can traditional, free public school become equitable for all?
Unfortunately, I don’t see it.
With budget cuts and furloughs, the class sizes keep growing. With the behaviors that surface in classrooms in which students struggle to read, the educational gaps keep growing.
It’s tragic that students who need individualized support cannot receive it in public school and that is simply because public school cannot afford to pay for all of the teachers needed to equitably serve every child and teen.
How do we solve this?
Affordable education changes everything. With affordable education, you afford students the opportunity to be supported in small class sizes. With small class sizes and individualized learning goals supported, then and only then can we find equity in the educational part of education. Small class sizes mean being seen. Small class sizes mean being supported. Small class sizes mean your voice is heard, and you feel the invaluable, deserving feeling of belonging in this group.
As for hobbies and passions and play through learning, let the group sizes flourish! Bring on the sports, theatrical performances, and musical experiences!