Severe overcrowding in classrooms

Rachel Kogan, Assistant Opinions Editor

Overcrowding in classrooms has become increasingly prevalent this year.  Due to recent budget cuts, the number of students in many classes was drastically increased.

As a result, students who would normally be separated into multiple classes are hoarded into a single room, many times without proper air conditioning.

Classrooms are designed to hold only a certain number of people and the addition of students results in an increasing strain of these regulations.

The average capacity in previous years was around 25 students per classroom.

However, this year it has become common for students to complain about having 36, 37 or even 39 students in one classroom; over ten students greater than in previous years.

The lack of space to hold students has become evident as many are forced to sit in unorthodox places.

“I feel like the overcrowding is bad for both the teachers and the student,” said junior Tessa Peierls. “It’s coming to the point where there are not even enough chairs.  Students have to sit on the radiator or even at the teacher’s desk.”

Students should not be forced to sit in such unacceptable places.

Space for students to sit in desks, as is regulated by the state, should be present in every classroom.

The desks have been placed in order to fill up as much space as possible within the classroom.

Walk into a classroom and you will see that every nook and cranny, is filled with desks, chairs and students’ learning materials.

The unfortunate result of adding an overwhelming amount of desks to classrooms is that many times, students are forced to sit at angles that make it nearly impossible to see the board.

Such obstacles discourage students’ focus on learning.

“One of my classes is so overcrowded that they had to move over five desks into the room,” said junior Ariel Waldman. “Of course, having a last name at the end of the alphabet, I am stuck with one of the rejected desks on the outskirts of the classroom.  Because of the distance, I find it really difficult to stay engaged in class.”

This situation affects not only the student body, but the teachers as well.  Naturally, the more students there are in a classroom, the more students that the teacher needs to engage.

Due to time restraints from intense AP and Regents curricula, teachers are forced to either choose to answer questions or ignore students and plow on to finish the material.

As a result, students are forced to learn new material without fully understanding the fundamentals.

Although extra help is provided, more and more students are seeking out their teachers after class to understand the lessons, and it is simply not possible for the teachers to help them all.

This puts students in a stressful situation in which they do not understand the material and have to perform well on exams.

“Overcrowding has made it impossible to learn well,” said junior Joshua Curtis.  “Most questions are not tolerated during class. Those that are devolve into an everlasting discussion.  Not being able to get necessary help shakes confidence and hinders the learning process.”

As if the stress of finishing homework and learning the material is not enought, students are becoming increasingly frustrated with attempting to not only learn the material presented to them adequately, but to excel at the subject.

For many students, receiving high grades in classes is essential in aiding them to go to the college of their dreams.

The present classroom situation directly influences students’ abilities to do well in class, naturally hurting their chances to achieve their goals.

Students who desire to begin the year with a fresh start have discovered that the situation with overcrowding makes it increasingly difficult to learn effectively.

“Not being able to get sufficient help, even for the smallest details hurts confidence,” said Curtis. “One can only imagine how stressful it is to not understand an entire topic.”

Overcrowding  affects not only the mentality of students and teachers, but also the public’s general health. The more dense with students a classroom is, the faster illness spreads.

“This year I’ve seen so many people missing school because they’ve been sick,” said junior Rachel Ellerson. “Those who don’t want to miss class because of the intense curriculum frequently end up spreading the germs to the rest of the class.”

The district should recognize the endless array of problems as a result of overcrowding  and attempt to reform them if they desire students to represent their schools as academically excellent.