Teacher sees major impact of override on her kids

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By Kristina Begonja

My name is Kristina Begonja. I am a kindergarten teacher at Butterfield Elementary School. I am also a proud MUSD parent. I wanted to let you know how our current override has affected me both professionally and personally.

When I first started at Butterfield 8 years ago my class size averaged at 28-30 without an assistant. It was extremely difficult. I felt that I could never fully reach my students the way I wanted to because I had so many students and behaviors. In kindergarten, the idea of 30 kids in one classroom is baffling. I always knew I was capable of more if I just had lower numbers.

Since the override passed I have never had those huge class numbers again. I have seen the benefit to lower class sizes in both test scores and emotional growth. I can now spend the time I need to with my students and reach them on a different levels.

We were also able to get incredible technology advances as a result of the override. I also saw the difference with my own children. As a parent of two special needs children I rely on them having small class sizes. They need their teacher to be able to focus on them and their needs and doing it in a smaller class size makes such a difference!

This year I have 20 students in my class with an assistant. In just two weeks I have gotten further with my students than I used to in the first month of school. With the help of my assistant, the children were able to learn the class rules and routines much quicker, which has led to us getting a jump start on the curriculum. I know this will lead them to being further prepared for the rest of the year and years to come.

Thank you MUSD for pushing for this override and giving teachers and students the resources and class sizes that we so desperately need!