As a newly retired teacher who has spent 33 years educating elementary students in the Willmar School District, I am very concerned about what will happen if the proposed operating levy referendum fails on Nov. 4.
One of the most often mentioned consequences will be "significantly increased class sizes at all grade levels."
It makes sense that as the size of a class increases, the time allotted for each child to interact, be heard and get feedback decreases. What that means for your children is that they are less likely to get their needs meet on a regular basis.
A good educational environment provides the time and personnel so that each child has ample time to vocalize their understanding, ask questions, and practice with teacher feedback until they master the concept being presented.
All those necessary elements are lessened as class size increases.
Other losses are: not enough room for each child to work and be in small groups, less time to be called on and heard, less time to practice with teacher help, less access to materials, and less time to be given written or verbal feedback on daily work and tests since there are more to correct. The overcrowding in the classrooms, hallways, playground and lunchrooms leads to increased disruptive behaviors which rob children and teachers of time to learn and teach.
Through my experiences I have learned that there is a direct correlation between the amount of time spent with each student and their success level.
The lack of federal funding has already reduced support help in math and reading this year and it is very easy to draw the conclusion that our test scores are not likely to rise and that as this continues, we will be losing ground with our students each year.
The same fourth-grade class that I taught last year with supplementary help in reading and math now has three more students and no extra help at all.
Please support your children and teachers by voting yes twice on Nov. 4.