Increase in class sizes leads to mixed feelings among teachers


Paige K

Freshman science teacher Gregory Meerschaert finishes some board work for his class. Meerschaert has rolled with the changes in class size, adding an extra table and chairs to accommodate the increase.

Paige Kanclerowicz, Reporter

Small class sizes has always been a selling point for HCP. Before COVID-19, Harding was known for being a small school, but in recent years with students now being back in the classroom full-time, there have been new additions that have class sizes expanding. 

Many teachers have been affected by this change, especially first-year teachers.  

“Students equal money,” said freshman science teacher Gregory Meerschaert.  

Meerschaert said he does not use as many materials as other subjects, so he is in favor of this change. One thing that did change for him though was he needed to add an extra table to his classroom. Though this does not seem like a substantial change, that is a whole new table of students to do experiments or papers to grade. 

Other teachers are in a different situation. Freshman English teacher Elizabeth Boomer said that there are at least an added 10 students to the freshman class. The number increased from 125 freshmen last year to 135 this year. To outsiders this may not seem like a huge change but she thinks of it as a “disservice to my students.”  

Teachers only have 45-minute classes and with almost 30 students in every class it can be difficult to serve every student well. Boomer said she would rather not get the pay raise if it means having students who don’t have a complete understanding. She did say that the freshman she has this year are “amazing,” so it is no harder for her to keep her classroom under control.

One of the biggest problems for Boomer is lack of supplies. While Meerschaert’s class doesn’t really struggle with supplies, Boomer’s class is very much centered around paper and the books that she uses to teach her curriculum. Some students this year didn’t even have the textbooks they needed for their classes, causing printers to be used a lot to print off textbook chapters for students without books.