Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Teeny Tiny School

So yesterday when I linked up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for her lunchbox linky, I am pretty sure that the only sentence anyone read was that we only have 5 teachers at school!

I wanted to tell you a little more about the teeny tiny school where I teach.
I teach in a Catholic school in a rural-ish town where more than 50% of public school families qualify as low-income. Additionally, over 25% of the public school students are classified as Limited English Proficient. Many, many more speak English as a second language but aren't necessarily labeled as LEP.

Both of those percentages mean that our enrollment is pretty low. Catholic school tuition is not really affordable for a family who qualifies for free lunch, although we do have some financial support available. Lots of families are not always willing to take the support, though, which is understandable. Also, none of our teachers are bilingual and I am the only one who is close to an ESL endorsement, so if a family has a child who doesn't speak English, we aren't really the best fit for that student. I am hoping to turn that around though!
So anyway, we only have 70ish students at school. There are 5 classrooms - Kindergarten, first/second (that's me!!), third/fourth, fifth/sixth, and seventh/eighth. We also have preschool and specials teachers, so technically we have more than 5 teachers... but only 5 full time people!

I have 12 students - 7 first graders and 5 second graders. They are energetic enough to feel like way more than 12. The smallest class is Kindergarten at 11 and the biggest is third/fourth at 18. Next year I will have 18 kids if no one else signs up - 11 first graders and 7 second graders. I have talked to one mom who keeps showing up to things like Friday Mass and some of our family events. I know she has a first grader right now so I am thinking maybe he will be coming next year... then I will have 19!
What this means to me is that I am ESPECIALLY grateful for the blogging community, as I have no grade level team at school. So when I'm not sure how to tackle a specific thing, like fluency in first grade, you all are the first people I turn to because you understand! So thank you, friends!!


  1. That sounds A LOT like our school. We have 80 students. Classes are Junior/Senior Kindergarten (13 - 2 days a week), Me in grade 1/2 (19), Grade 3/4 (18), Grade 5/6 (12) and Grade 7/8 (17). We are also a private Christian school in a rural area. Our principal teaches grade 7/8 in the morning and our resource teacher does 7/8 in the afternoon. It makes for a such a close community of teachers, but you are right, it does have it's downfalls!

    Thanks for sharing! It's nice to know we aren't alone!

    Back Hall Collaborators

  2. Amazing!!! Simply amazing. I can't imagine!!!
    I have relied so heavily on other people my entire career that I have no idea how I would do it on my own. I'm so glad yu have the bloggy community!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  3. Wow! 70 students!?!? When have 164 first graders this year and 950 students all together!
    I remember being in a 2nd/3rd room - both years, same teacher, but I don't remember knowing who was in which grade...I am curious as to how it works:)

    Going Nutty!

  4. Kinda crazy! It must be hard not to have teaching partners. I LOVE my partners and can't imagine teaching without them.

    Tickled to Teach

  5. wow I bet that is hard. I mean to be solely responsible for two grade levels. WOW ya'll are pioneers fo sho. That's cool!

  6. So crazy! I teach at a small (about to be shut down :() Catholic School too. We have one grade per class of pretty low income kids. I am the only math and science teacher for grades 6-8 and it's so difficult sometimes to not have any other teachers to bounce my ideas off of.
    To The Square Inch

  7. I just found this post and can totally relate - even to a smaller level! I teach at a school with 27 kids, yes 27! I teach K-4 and have 15 students, and my teaching partner who is also the principal teaches grades 5-8 (12 kids). I couldn't survive without her but we feel the professional isolation a lot! We also have 2 full-time educational assistants and a small support team but they only come about once a month. It's nice to see others have small schools too!

    Kaleigh's Klassroom


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