Recently, I had the opportunity to interview my favorite teacher for grade school. She asked that I not use her name in this article. I asked her a few questions like what inspired her to teach, and what year she started teaching. But when I asked her what was it like teaching during the time I was in her class and what it’s like teaching now, she said it changed a lot. I thought it would be great to make my article focus on how much the school system has changed.
My teacher has been teaching in the South Sacramento area for twenty years, so she’s seen a lot of the changes and taught a lot of children. She told me back then the government passed a law that instead of teachers having thirty two kid’s in their class rooms they would have twenty kids. She said that was so much better, because it meant they would be able to get to know the kids and bond with them more. The kids would be able to get the attention they need and the teachers would be able to meet their educational needs. That was nice for a while until the economic change happened.
Due to budget cuts, teachers have been laid off. Two years ago, class sizes went from twenty to twenty five, and this last school year it was twenty five to twenty nine students. This coming school year there will be thirty one kids in one class room. Some classes may be split where second graders will be with third graders in a class. She said the penalty for the federal government has changed and it pretty much means when they cut the teachers, more kids will be put in one class room. It’s not just happening in one school, it’s happening in a lot of schools.
I asked my teacher what her personal opinion was on the school budget cuts. She told me that it make her sad because the kids suffer and the money is not there. Teachers spend more money out of their own pocket on classroom materials. She says there’s no money for field trips. Back when I was in grade school we were able to go on three field trips in one school year per class. But now days schools can only afford to take them on one field trip a school year, and that’s only if they do fundraisers or charge the kids to go on a field trip. Now days a lot of kids don’t get to go to a museum, or to the river, or even the zoo. When a student talks about a museum or zoo all they can do is imagine it. They never get the whole experience.
The interview with my teacher really opened my eyes. I understand now why it was such a big deal when a teacher is let go, and why a lot of schools have been doing fundraisers. Schools are just trying to survive, just like a person who doesn’t have a job because of the economy.