I have a class this semester with only thirteen students. I don’t like small classes and when I saw the size of this one, I tried to get the class canceled. Much to my dismay, the class ran.
Here’s the thing about ‘teaching tiny’. There’s no hiding and that includes me! If I’m having a bad day, there’s very little room for diversion. It’s like acting in an Off-Off-Off Broadway show, on an off night. One mistake and thirteen people will have a front row view of my flub.
Same goes for my students. If no one raises their hand, there’s 1 chance in 13 that a student will be called on. And that’s if I only ask one question! Suddenly hiding in a hundred student lecture hall is looking pretty good.
I asked my thirteen students, individually because I could, how they felt about a small class. Most said they liked the intimacy and for this group, I’d have to agree. We’re only a few weeks into the semester, and we’ve already checked out one student’s tattoos. We chatted about religion (in a marketing class), and we’re getting pretty good at showing up on time.
That last point is important. One day, ten students were late, leaving three students to carry the load. Now that’s taking this small thing a bit too far.