2012 "School Matters" Essay Contest

Spotlight on the high school winner

1st Place essay written by Sirinya Phakoom of Castro Valley High School, 12th Grade

Category 2 Why are small class sizes important to the K-3 students and 9th grade English students?

I started high school like most do: excited to finally become one of the “big kids”, but walking into each class not knowing what to expect.  Admittedly, I can’t recall much of my first day at high school.  However, I clearly remember entering the last period of the day, and being surprised that a good portion of the seats were empty.  That year my English class had around twenty students.  It was the smallest class I have ever been in.  For this reason, among others, I will always remember 7th period Freshman English.

I’ve always been a little quiet in speaking up.  But in that class, I participated actively in class discussions.  In this smaller classroom environment, I felt more comfortable.  I didn’t feel obligated to speak; I simply felt that my voice was being heard better, and that people cared to hear it.  Every lesson taught felt like a group effort rather than a simple torrent of information.

Students in smaller class sizes learn better.  A lower student-to-teacher ratio makes it easier to teach and there is a lesser chance of distractions.  It allows for more one-on-one time between students and teachers.  The classroom environment is automatically more welcoming and feels safer with fewer students.  This is especially important in years K-3, where children are still acclimating themselves to the idea of attending school.  This is also essential in a student's 9th grade year; studies show that most high schoolers decide whether they plan to graduate high school while in their freshman year.

Living in the United States guarantees all children a free education.  It should also guarantee children a quality education that will last them a lifetime.  Simply having smaller classes would make a huge impact on the way students learn and their successes later in life.

Editor's Note: Students in grades 4 to 12 participated in "School Matters" contest. There were 294 entries submitted.

All Contest Participants will receive a certificate of achievement, as well as one free game at Golden Tee Golfland and other prizes provided by local sponsors.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »