Part 2: World Language And Math Departments Reflect On The Stress Of Teacher Cuts


Benjamin Kutler

Math Instructor Steven Emmerich sits at his crowded desk and helps students during his open mods.

After Westside’s recent teacher cuts, pressure has been added onto Westside’s present teachers. In addition to teachers having more students than they are used to, they also have fewer open mods to work with students who need help. Spanish Instructor Amanda Freitag said that one of the biggest effects on the World Language department are the class sizes.

“In a lot of our classes, we have [a] preferred class size of about 22 students,” Freitag said. “Now we are seeing class sizes of 27 plus.”

Freitag said that the larger class sizes have brought several complications.

“With the increase of students, it takes more time to plan and give feedback,” Freitag said. “[It’s also harder to] grow relationships with students.”

Math Instructor Steven Emmerich said he along with other Math instructors are feeling the direct impact of the teacher cuts.

“I went from teaching five classes to six,” Emmerich said. “I know there are some other teachers that have picked up an extra prep [class] in addition to teaching an additional section as well.”

Emmerich said that the cuts have not only impacted him in the classroom but in his open mods as well. 

“One of the things I really like about Westside is that we have the ability during the day to assign kids to open mods that we happen to share,” Emmerich said. “Since I’m teaching 6 sections, I have fewer [shared] open mods [to help kids].”

Emmerich said that there is a noticeable difference in the amount of teachers and students in the Math IMC at a given time. 

“There’s about two mods where there are literally no teachers in the math IMC,” Emmerich said. “There are times where I have up to nine kids assigned [at a time] because that is the only time that works.”

Math Instructor Linda Rau said that the recent teacher cuts are affecting the environment of her classroom, and she thinks other math teachers would agree.

“I think the stress level in general of at least the math teachers is pretty high,” Rau said.

Sophomore Minh Nguyen said that he and his peers have also been feeling the added stress from teacher cuts.

“Depending on when my math teacher’s open, it’s difficult to find a good time [to meet with them],” Nguyen said. “Usually there is a line of students waiting for help.”

Rau said that she believes an increase of math teachers would be helpful for both teachers and students.

“What would be beneficial,” Rau said. “Is if we had more math teachers.”