While private tutoring does offer some aid to students, there are significant skills small classroom sizes offer students that private tutoring does not. Here are a few examples of the benefits of small classroom sizes:
Confidence to Ask Questions:
Small class sizes like those offered in after-school enrichment programs are less intimidating. It can be a challenge for students to admit they don’t understand a concept and need to ask for clarification in front of a large group of peers or one on one. Being one-on-one makes the student feel they have to answer right away and there is more attention on them. For some students, being the center of attention causes their anxiety to increase and consequently their focus to be on the uncomfortable situation, rather than learning.
By feeling more comfortable to ask questions, students begin to gain the confidence to speak out when they need extra help or clarification. This confidence then transfers into their larger classrooms at school.
Just as it can be intimidating to ask questions, it can be intimidating to share opinions. Sharing opinions on topics means there is a risk of people not agreeing- which is a scary thought for students!
A benefit of small classroom sizes is students can feel more at ease about sharing their opinions and participating in class. As students participate more, this once daunting task starts to become more natural as the student’s self-assurance increases. When students return to their classrooms at school, they are more apt to become involved because they’ve learned and practiced how to participate in a smaller scale environment.
Learning how to work well with peers is a skill your student will use throughout his or her life — whether in an educational setting, workplace, or in everyday encounters! A private tutoring lesson will not develop this skill like a small enrichment classroom will since private tutoring does not generally involve a group of students. How could students learn to work in a group by working alone?
When students work together on things like word problems and puzzles or apply knowledge to hands on activities as a group they learn how to effectively collaborate with different personalities and people.
Listening to Viewpoints:
Everyone has an opinion, and not everyone’s are the same! Rather than students feeling like they are wrong, or someone else is wrong when their opinions don’t match, students can learn to appreciate different opinions and learn from them.
English classrooms are a great example of when students may have differing opinions because of what students took from readings. Small classrooms provide a place where students can share their opinion and students can learn from those opinions. More perspectives create a well-rounded understanding. When students hear different opinions on a topic, it opens a door to a different perspective they can learn from versus if they are only exposed to one opinion.
Listening to viewpoints from different people fosters learning and expands students’ mindsets. It is also a great way for students to learn how to listen to varying perspectives and respect them.
These benefits of small classroom sizes can be applied to larger scale classrooms like a student’s regular school where confidence, listening skills, and collaboration can really help a student shine and stand out from the crowd. In fact, these skills will not only aid students in the classroom environment but also in their future workplaces and their everyday interactions.
Trying to decide between private tutoring and a small classroom setting? How will these skills influence your decision?
Author: Sarah B., Teacher and Writer at A Grade Ahead