Thirty-one is a lot more than 20 when you’re talking about children. Each week as I volunteer in my grandson’s kindergarten class, I am awestruck by the teacher’s ability to quietly, patiently and professionally maneuver 31 kindergartners around the crowded room to a variety of learning areas, giving every child an appropriate and meaningful high-quality education every day.
I am especially impressed by this excellent teaching since I’ve been a teacher myself for 25 years. Teachers always meet any challenge. Can you name another profession in which the practitioner must respond to every need of 31 people (especially 5-year-olds) as if there were 20?
The teacher must not only take on an increased workload, but must do so in the exact same time framework (school day, school year), with a loss, not gain, of compensation and professional support, and with the same or higher demands and expectations.
There are states, like New York, that have specialists at the primary level for science, music and P.E., who lead the classroom program while the teacher has some preparation time. This was once true in California. Luckily for us in Davis, our own supportive community maintains and retains Davis programs, for the benefit of all of us. But of course, best is to have a stable and ongoing support system to ensure funding for excellent education.
I hope that at some point in the near future we will have smaller classes again. I hope we will have consistent funding for music and art, drama and language, as well as everything else. For now, however, we must support Measure E and Proposition 30 so that we do not lose any more than we’ve lost already.
Teachers are miracle workers, but everyone has a limit. Please vote for Measure E and Proposition 30.