Due to the increasingly large classroom sizes at Prince George’s County Schools, I am unable to effectively provide quality education to my students.
As a childhood educator with more than 13 years of experience, I have been required, at a Title 1 school, to teach a class of 31, 5- to 6-year-old students. Many of these students were from disadvantaged backgrounds living in an environment of substance abuse, emotional and physical neglect, divorce and separation and sexual abuse all requiring support far beyond what one teacher can provide.
Research has proven that children learn better in classes that are not overcrowded, which is why trying to manage 31 kindergartens is not only unfair to them, but takes an emotional and physical toll on me. Creating smaller class sizes across the Prince George’s County Public School system is a priority for educators and families and one we cannot let school officials get away with.
This standard of education has gone on for too long and it’s time for the County Council to take a stand so that our schools are fully funded providing every early childhood class with a paraprofessional for additional support.
Arnetta L. West
Instructor at Bradbury Heights Elementary School in Capitol Heights
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