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odd situation


new teach

Hi! I'm in a strange situation and need some advice! I'm a first year teacher. I student taught in a regular 1st grade classroom, but ended up with a bilingual classroom position. The problem is that the numbers didn't come in like they thought they would, and I ended up with 5 students! Today, after one of them moved away, I'm down to 4, and have another one planning on moving soon...which leaves me with a class of 3 students! This situation is just eating me up! I don't know if this makes sense, but my low class size makes me feel like a failure as a teacher. I work so hard on my lessons, my classroom, etc., but I'm getting tired of doing it, when I know it's just for 3 students. I know this is a bad attitude, though. I just want a class! I'm just finding it so hard to teach such a small group all the time. Any advice?


New Member

hi, i have taught in small classrooms before, but the smallest I had one year was 6. If your school is able to fund a classroom for 3 kids then they are pretty lucky. That would never happen here. I would say to enjoy your time with these kids and to give them the absolute best teaching that you can. This could be your chance to really make a difference for each one of these kids educational futures, by giving them an awesome foundation. You won't be able to do a lot of things like group games, however there are so many things that it is just nice to have a small group for. Art with such a small group is awesome because you can get really creative, and you are able to spread yourself around the kids to help them. Lots of things will be able to be indiviualised as well which is pretty cool. I would suggest that you do your planning on paper as though they were a normal sized classroom, instead of 4 groups of kids you have 4 individuals who can be grouped or taken on their own. I know that my time in a small school was awesome, I went in there as a new teacher and came out really confident in my ability to teach kids rather than to manage behaviour. I hope you have an awesome year, you will be really amazed at the skills you develop - even with such a small class.


Senior Member
Use your time wisely!!

Look at it positively! When you make your resources, instead of making them for 4 students, make 20. Really keep your lesson plans organized, read, read, read, professional lit. and keep files, make your lessons really spectacular. Offer your resources to other teachers - someday you may need them to reciprocate. Nows the time to take advantage of observing other teachers. Do that as much as you can and don't forget to keep notes!

Then, when you get a larger class, and I'm sure you will, you will be organized, which is one of the best tools for classroom management when you've got 15, 16, etc. students waiting and watching for your cues. Good luck!


Senior Member
You never know...

what the future may bring. You may end the year with 10 kids. I don;t know where you are from, but moving tends to happen in spurts, and you may get more kids.

That said, what about combining your students with other classes for Art, music, gym, etc so that they begin to be immersed with otheres? Their language skills will increase more dramatically if they are with their peers. They will have each other for support, too.

Is it possible to team teach with other teachers to perhaps include either higher or lower students for particular times such as reading? This would work better with younger children, probably.

Meanwhilem I would use the smallness of your class and enrich the heck out of them with trips to museums, library, etc. With permission slips that include permission to be driven by you (if possible, even in a school district vehicle), it would be awesome for them. Libraries often have free passes to museum-type places so cost could possibly be nothing!


I agree

I agree with Dee....offer to team teach with another teacher who has a larger class. If a teacher in my school had a really small class and offered to team teach with me during say, reading, math, or writing lessons, I'd really appreciate the opportunity to work with another teacher, make smaller groups, maybe get some time for testing. Or maybe you could put your classes together for art, music, science, health, computers, whatever, and alternate lessons so you both get extra prep time. Any thing you do will mean your children will benefit from the interaction, you'll benefit from the experience and maybe get some new ideas too, and the other teacher will get some help and maybe a break too! It's win-win-win! Lucky you!

new teach

Thanks for the posts! They helped a lot. I went to the teacher's store and got some new books on reading instruction. Now I'm more motivated to take advantage of this opportunity while I have it. Thanks for the suggestions!


Senior Member
small classes

I teach in an overcrowded school with classes of around 30. If we have classes smaller than 20, a teacher gets dropped! I envy you! I would love to have a small class because you could accomplish so much! Become a master at differentiated instruction, still create centers - allowing you 1 on 1 time with each kid, allow projects the kids are truly interested in. Enjoy this class, your next teaching assignment could be for 35 fifth graders!! :)

cincy teacher

Full Member
small class

I agree with previous posts. In a district where cuts are being made daily,a classroom of 3 would not continue to be funded. Count your blessings! You really can individualize instruction and spend lots of time with each child. Both you and your students are blessed!