My child has 29 other kids in his class. Sometimes I worry that this is too many kids for the teacher. What do you think? They have an EA, but not full-time.
Amy Stewart replies: Class sizes are always at the forefront of debate but in my opinion it really depends on two things, the first being the age of your child. The younger the children, the more direct interaction and monitoring they need from their teacher on an individual and small group basis. Older children generally speaking, progressively move away from needing so much â€œhands-onâ€ time directly with the teacher. In fact, it can be beneficial for children to become more independent in their learning and utilising peer teaching as well as teacher directed learning opportunities.
The second factor to consider would be the individual learning and social needs of your child. Does your child need more individual â€œface timeâ€ with their teacher or are they a self-motivated learner? Does your child have specific learning needs that require special attention? Does your child function well in group and whole class situations? What is your child’s relationship like with their peers?
I suggest that you make an appointment with your child’s class teacher to discuss your concerns and the specific needs of your child. It would also be beneficial to learn about how the (EA) Educational Assistant is deployed in your child’s class, and to learn what their specific duties are. Your child’s teacher is a great resource and will have an insight into your child and their needs that parents often are not privy to. A class of 29 is not necessarily â€œtoo bigâ€, and a part-time EA is a great advantage. But it does depend on whether the situation is right for your child. A small class may benefit some, whilst others will thrive in a more independent environment, with the teacher as a facilitator.