As if BSGE wasn’t crowded enough, this year, the 11th grade was squeezed into two large streams instead of the usual three. Rather than having around twenty students in each of the three streams, there are now about thirty students in each of the two streams. This is a change that most of the 11th graders are not happy with. For the past four years, the grade was used to having three medium-sized streams. With that system, for the most part, students stayed in the same stream for all their classes. This year however, the 11th graders do not have one fixed stream and instead have classes with almost everyone in the grade. The students in this grade have strong opinions about this increase, and how it could possibly affect and alter the way in which their classes are set up and run.
Since a majority of the 11th graders are not happy with this change, their responses and opinions on the increase and change were pretty unanimous. The 11th graders agreed that the increase serves more as a disadvantage to the students. One of the disadvantages of having such large classes is that teachers pay less attention to their students. According to Lauren Ouaknine ’14, “Having larger classes takes a great toll on our work because we can’t get as much attention and help on something we’re having trouble with.” With the lack of interaction between the students and teachers in the larger classes, there are more opportunities to be distracted. Stephen Mirauti ’14 said that, “With more people in a class, everyone is less focused.”Another problem that the larger classes pose is that the size of the class intimidates some of the students and stops them from participating. Tahmid Zawad ’14 said that with the larger classes this year, “some students get singled out and it’s harder for some people to participate or speak to the teacher in a larger class.” For the most part, the 11th graders agreed that, overall, the change in the size of the streams is a disadvantage. When it came to expressing their opinions on the existence of advantages of the change, however, the unanimous views they once had become divided.
The 11th graders had different opinions on whether or not this change has any good or beneficial effects. Some of the 11th grade students believed that there are some good aspects to this change while others thought, overall, the negativity of this change outweighed anything positive about it. Stephen Mirauti ‘14 didn’t find anything beneficial about this change. He said, “There isn’t anything good about this change. I liked the previous set-up of our classes and streams.” Tahmid Zawad ’14 on the other hand, brought up something beneficial about the change when he mentioned, “For the newer students, we get to mingle and communicate with the other students who have been at BSGE for a longer time.” Nicola Vergara ’14 also agreed with the idea that not all of the effects of this change were negative. She said, “With more people in each stream, we are able to be more open-minded and share greater opinions with each other.” While some students did find it beneficial as it allowed them to interact with new groups of people, there are still some academic disadvantages that outweighed all possible advantages of larger streams. Lauren Ouaknine ’14 said, “Academically, the increase in students per stream is not really helpful. It doesn’t have beneficial influence on my work.”
Even though a majority of the 11th graders are not happy with the increase in the number of students per class, it is something that the entire grade might be able to adjust to by the middle of the semester. Since it is only two months into the school year, this change comes off as a shock to the 11th graders. Although this change comes off as a difficulty and burden for the 11th grade, it is not an issue that can’t be solved. This change is something that the 11th graders will have to take time to get used to, so as of now the only thing they can do is to try to get along and work with everyone.