Classroom size is an important factor for a student’s education. I want to discuss why smaller classrooms have a number of benefits that should not be overlooked when considering a school.
1. More Individualized Learning
One of the biggest advantages of a smaller classroom is the individualized nature of them. While this varies depending on the size, in general the smaller they get the more personalized the educational experience is. Public schools are notorious for having some of the largest classrooms. In these large learning environments, teachers teach their lessons to the average student in the class. This leaves both struggling and GT students behind as the lesson pace does not match theirs. This can grow into issues further down the line for these students which include bad grades, anxiety, and in some cases school refusal.
A more individualized learning environment solves this issue by teaching to each student individually rather than the average student in a classroom. It’s one thing we pride ourselves with here at The Tenney School. We’ve been teaching students one-to-one for over half a century! During this time we’ve realized that students perform better in a small classroom environment and become more engaged!
2. Increase in Pace of Learning
Students who are in a smaller classroom setting tend to learn at a quicker pace. The reasoning behind this lies with the teacher giving more time to go over concepts for students. If a teacher sees a student struggling, they’re afforded the time to reteach the concepts without worry of holding back a larger classroom. Additionally, students who understand the material quickly are not being held up due to other students struggling with a concept. Furthermore, it gives teachers more time to review material in the class without having to worry about 20+ other students.
3. Decrease in Social Pressure
When present in a large classroom, students feel more pressure from their peers. This can show itself in the form of anxiety. Students may be hesitant to ask questions, answer questions, or participate in the class due to fear of what their peers may think of them. While smaller classrooms doesn’t guarantee an elimination of anxiety, it can definitely put less pressure on the student. Students who are shy, may even be encouraged to open up in these smaller settings. We’ve found that in our small group classes at The Tenney School, students are more sociable and friendly when working in groups of 3 – 7 rather than a full class size of 20.
It’s important to note that socialization is an important part of the school learning experience. Students learn valuable social skills at school and a large environment deters shy students, resulting in shutting themselves away. This is antithetical to what they really need, which is a small environment that works with them to make them comfortable. It makes the socialization aspect seem much more approachable.
4. Less Distractions
While we talked about how a small classroom environment is great for shy students, it’s also helps students who are overly social. Outgoing students may struggle with becoming a distraction in a large classroom setting. This stems from the herd immunity feeling present in large numbers in classrooms that have a lot of students. Because the teacher is not able to keep track of each and every student, many are able to get distracted with little to no consequences. A smaller learning environment alleviates this by allowing the teacher to keep a close eye on each and every student. Students who struggle to stay focused or create distractions in a more classic setting are under a more watchful eye which can help keep them on task in class.
A Small Classroom For You!
At The Tenney School we pride ourselves on our one-to-one model. We firmly believe that each and every student benefits from this type of learning style and with a combined curriculum of one-to-one and small group classes, we believe we’ve found the perfect match for every student. We recommend checking out our page for more detailed information on our learning model and how it can help you!