Where do they come up with these numbers? And, actually, who are “they?” There must be a profession out there with which I am not familiar (I’m teaching grammar this year and watching my with whiches and with whoms). Hmmmm…Numerical Engineers? Occupancy Engineers? Fire Code Engineers? This sign was outside of a restaurant. 343 people. Tops. But how is this number calculated? Do 2 skinny people = 1 occupant? Conversely, does 1 obese person take up 2 slots? What about babies? Do they count? All of these questions made me think about my classroom.
How many students will fit in your classroom? Maximum. Include age group, space available and take optimal space for academic performance into consideration. If you teach ESL or Special Ed kids, factor that element in as well. Let’s see. I come up with MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY 18.
How did I figure that out? I more or less pulled it out of thin air. Not really. I teach high school ESL students. Small classes can be a horror. Picture 5 quiet teenagers staring at you and each other for 42 minutes. And asking to go to the bathroom. “And then there were 4.” But having 32 students of that same age and level is definitely in the uh-oh-someone-might-fall-between-the-cracks range. So 18 seems to be a perfect number. I think I’ll get a brass plaque engraved.