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Finding Elbow Room: Dealing With Overcrowded Classrooms

By Jenny Ortiz

Though I teach literature, I was doing some calculations this week. If I have two classes at Adelphi with 20  students in each class, I am accountable for 40 students. Add that to the 25 in my core literature class as well as my 30 in American literature from St. John’s. I can’t forget the 25 each for the two classes I’m teaching at LaGuardia this semester. This comes to a grand total of 145 students for the Fall semester, which is not unusual given the number of classes I teach. I have come to expect this number, and am fully prepare to give each student personal attention and guidance.

As a Freeway Flyer, having so many students is neither an issue nor a challenge. I’ve come to enjoy the many names on my rosters and days before I meet them, I begin to prepare for the class. For me, what creates a road block are the constant late registration and class overrides. The first few weeks are crucial in establishing the order and the intentions of the class. Trust is created between instructor and students. With 145 students, developing a strong base is imperative, or

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