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Teaching the Small Class or One Room Classroom Learning

Small classroom learning has its advantages, along with a few disadvantages. While the small classroom may hold a few limitations, let us remember that one of those limitations does NOT have to be the quality of learning that develops a love for learning and nurtures the heart of learning. Having a small classroom can be an advantage, and here’s why!

Teaching the Small Class or One Room Classroom Learning

Teaching the Small Class or One Room Classroom Learning.

Teaching the small class or teaching in a one-room style classroom allows:

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1. Greater Flexibility On Student’s Needs

Having fewer students means getting to spend more devoted time to each student. Having the ability to actually get to personally know your students is such a blessing! You are able to better understand their learning styles, get to know their likes/dislikes, have a better grasp where they are spiritually and in knowledge, and you can alter your teaching to be more effective for your students. Also, the ability to change things up in your classroom has greater flexibility with fewer students or multi-age students.

2. More Student Choices

Another reason teaching the smaller class or having a one room classroom teacher, is it allows more choice for the students. Having the flexibility to push your younger students a little further is easy if the material is already there for the older student in a one room style classroom. Over the years, I have seen young students easily grasp high school level material, simply from repetition from the older students. Also, when in class with the older students, they are encouraged to “keep up” and it gives the student more choices and opportunities to excel. While, the small classroom can often dig deeper into a single lesson as well because there are fewer interruptions and/or more time that can be individualized.

3. Personalized Lessons

Perhaps my very favorite reason for teaching a small class or having a one room style teaching style is personalization. I love not just getting to know my students, but making the lessons relatable and memorable. A vast difference from teaching a lesson and teaching a lesson. Often the proof of these personalized lessons are simply the children’s intrigued faces. When you devote love, care and special attention to the material, how it is taught and its relativity to daily life; the lessons really pop and stick!

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4. More Creativity= Better Lessons

Teaching the one room schoolhouse or small classroom is great because it also allows you to be creative! More creativity also helps the lesson be more interesting. In the small class, your lessons can quickly be altered or expressed creatively by your students if there seems to be a lull throughout the room. So planned creativity, or deviations from the curriculum, and unplanned creativity are much easier with a small classroom of students.

Creativity makes me think of crafts too. I will say, some of my smaller classes we have done more lessons and painting or artwork than my larger classrooms, especially with the younger ages. With the smaller classroom or mixed ages, you can either get around to everyone quicker or have the older students partner with a younger student on a craft, so we are often able to do much much more.

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5.Learning More than Just the Topic

Topics in a one room schoolhouse style of learning seem to be much more beautifully rounded. Many topics we discuss with multiple ages in the class can jut off into different discussions. This is great, because often the students are gleaning from the students. Not only is the topic range of the teaching really dissected, but in the small classroom we often have a bit of extra time to actually look into that new discussion by exploring and researching that correlated topic. It really cultivates and feeds the desire to keep learning and love to learn more.

6. Discipleship

An amazing blessing of the small classroom or one room schoolhouse style learning is discipleship! What a sweet thing it is to know and follow the Lord, but even sweeter is having kids desire to know HIM better too! In the smaller classroom the ability to answer questions and focus on specific topics are even greater. Living a life for the Lord, teaching in your classroom and answering faith filled questions is discipleship. (Intended or not.) In the Christian setting, it is a model for success and a blessing to everyone involved, including the parents of your students.

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7. Better Personal Relationships

As with any small group, relationships are more personal, but also professional in the one room style classroom. Having a small class means you get to know your students better and know how to meet their needs. I also enjoy this because I get a better understanding of the student and their home. I know what, who and sometimes how to pray more specifically for my students. This is not only a blessing, but an honor. I want my student to succeed! I also want their families to be as God intended them for everyone’s sake. Building a more personal relationship with your student is a great blessing when teaching a small classroom.

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8. Being Your Students Teacher Longer

As odd or fascinating as this sounds, the small classroom often means fewer teachers. In the case that you have multi- aged students, you may be the only teacher as well, leaving you with a few options; some rotate teachers every 2 years, others just keep the same teacher for several years. When serving in one location, and you find yourself as the only teacher, you may find yourself having your student for 5+ years. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just encouragement to keep things fresh or change things up once in awhile. Not that you have to, but it can help your students. Repetition is good. Faithfulness is good. But, just as I love to change the furniture up in the living room often, you can change your classroom and teaching style from time to time without compromise and have a high quality program. I think it is important to also note here, that whether you teach 1 or 30, your conduct, skill, and classroom is important. Teaching your handful of students professionally as if you have 30 is important, because it matters! Sure, having a small classroom can be more relaxed, but you do not have to compromise on quality, nor setting. When done unto the Lord, as if He was sitting in the classroom, we are sure to give our best, no matter the size of the classroom.