Saturday, November 5, 2011

There is no turning back the clock on face time

Tonight is the annual 'fall back' to regain the hour of time that Daily Savings Time provides. The earth moves in a cycle around the sun with the amount of daylight shortening from June to December and lengthening from December to June. The 'spring ahead' and 'fall back' effort adjusts the clocks by one hour. We all know this and accept it as the way it is.


However, there is no such adjustment for the loss of face time when a classroom grows from 20 students to 30. Franklin has seen a growth in class size as budget cuts force personnel reductions. Some in the community claim the increased size is not a problem as they went to school with similar class size (or larger) and made it. Making it with the instructional methods in those days versus making it today are two different things. There could be (and should be) a long and constructive debate on the pros and cons of instructional changes in those days, what is being done today and what really should be done to prepare the students for the global economy they will face. We'll hold that topic for another day.

Today, I simply would like to show how much face time is lost when class size increases.

Starting with a class of 20, assuming all students would obtain an equal amount of the teacher's direct attention during an hour of a school day, would calculate out to be 3 minutes. 60 minutes in an hour divided by 20 students equals 3 minutes. Simple math. While a lot of classes are 27/28 students to keep the math simple, we'll assume 30 students and the same assumption on equal face time from the teacher. 60 minutes is now divided by 30 and yields 2 minutes per student.

So Johnny or Susie would go from having 3 minutes of direct face time with his/her teacher to having just 2 minutes. There goes one minute. 1 minute times 5 hours in the school day equals 5 minutes. Times 180 school days equals 900 minutes. To bring the minutes back to hours, we divide the 900 by 60 and get 15. Simple math. So when your child participates in a class size of 30, they loose 15 hours of face time in the school year (compared to the class size of 20).


If that class size increase occurs when the student enters kindergarten and remains for their school time through high school, the student will have lost 195 hours of face time. Just over 8 days. If it occurs at a different grade, you can do the math; 15 hours of lost face time/per year.

When your student needs some extra help, where do you think it will come from? We have already taken away the 'normal' face time they would get. There are only so many hours in a day. I guess you would need to spend money on a tutor. Or consider funding the school budget to support a proper education! Your choice. There is no turning back the clock on face time.

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