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The Staffroom Podcast S1E10: What’s the Right Class Size?

The Staffroom Podcast with Chey and Pav Season 1 Episode 10: What’s the Right Class Size?


In this episode of “The Staffroom with Chey and Pav” we tackle an issue that has plagued the field of education for a very long time: that is, what is the optimal number of students for a class? Chey and I discuss what we have experienced to be the optimal size for our middle school classes. All teachers undoubtedly want smaller class sizes, but this is not always a realistic expectation.

In our chat during this episode, we both agree that a class size of about 25 students is optimal, so long as the Special Education and English Language Learner resources available to us in the school remain within our classes with us. I talk a little bit about the class size cap of 20 students that exists in Ontario for grades 1-3, and some of the unfortunate pitfalls of not carrying that cap over to grades 4 to 8 as well. I go on to discuss that when class sizes exceed a certain number of students, the teacher is not optimally able to reach all students in an effective way.

Increased class sizes can put a strain on already limited and important classroom resources.
Increased class sizes can put a strain on already limited and important classroom resources.

Chey talks about some of the other things that suffer as well, such as the access to important resources being harshly diminished. He also mentions that there is never enough physical space for these large classes, and money is not always equitably shared for large classes, and that the paperwork, such as report cards and IEPs can become highly overwhelming.

During this episode, we also welcome our second guest for the new “3 Enlightened Minutes” segment, Karen Fleming. In her segment, Karen speaks about equitable teaching practices and culturally inclusive pedagogy, including the need to reflect her students as much as possible through her classroom resources.

No episode is complete without an anecdotal story from Chey. With vast experience within the middle school system, he never fails to provide us with, yet again, another anecdotal tale from his trove of treasures.

Chey and Pav, two experienced middle school teachers from the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada, take listeners through the in’s and out’s of the field of Teaching, Learning and Leadership. Through their anecdotal, yet often comedic banter, laced with caring insightfulness, they take their audience into a conversation that is surely eye-opening and entertaining, while tackling some of the real, and ever-changing issues that exist in Education. Come join Chey and Pav; partake in the Staff Room chatter that all teachers and educators can connect with.

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