Bigger isn’t always better

Students at MV are suffering through bigger than usual classes.

As the state and district continue to face budget battles and new enrollments, the number of students per teacher have been steadily increasing, causing dysfunction for both instructors and teens.

    The SRVUSD as a whole has seen an increase of over 15% enrollment from 2008-2013 with a 5% jump in enrollments in 2010 alone..

   This jump in school attendees typically results in hiring of new staff and instructors to accommodate the influx of new kids. However, the state of California, and subsequently the SRVUSD, have not allocated the funds to hire enough staff to keep up with the rising enrollments.

    In order to instruct this new volume of students, teachers have been forced to take on more students per class.

    Though there are certain restrictions in the lower grades (teacher to student ratio of 1:26) there is virtually no limit to students in the average Monte Vista classroom.

    Teachers who have been working at MV for many years have noticed the increase of students in the classrooms over the years. In the mid 90’s, the average classroom consisted of 25 students. Now, those same rooms accommodate, in some cases, over 35 students.

  This high ratio of student to instructor has caused some problems for teachers at Monte Vista

    “The kids are wonderful and well behaved, but its the little things that add up and become overwhelming, like more emails to respond to and more homework to grade,” MV math teacher Ms. Spilker said “Its like I’m teaching another class of 30 students.”

    The larger size puts strain on most teachers, considering they have, in some cases, 40 additional emails to respond to and 40 extra assignments to grade, which greatly increases their overall workload. Also, the increased numbers can make the room harder for the teacher to manage

    “It got to the point where kids could go on their phones/goof off all the time because [the teacher] was always busy trying to control everyone,” Sophomore Kayla Gosnell said.

    By that same token, students are at a disadvantage since it takes teachers longer to grade tests and quizzes and the instructors have less time to help individual students.

    “At the end of the day, I love my job and I wouldn’t do anything else, but more kids to teach without a raise is unfortunate,” Spilker said.