How Big Should My Classes Be

You may ask yourself as a new instructor “How many students should I limit my class too?” The answer to that question for any instructor whether you are just starting out, or have hundreds of classes under your belt is a 12 to 1 ratio, 1 instructor to 12 students. The reason for this is to make sure you are not overwhelmed as an instructor by an overload of students and more importantly to make sure your students are receiving the best instruction possible by limiting the class size.

Then there is the question of “What if I have more than 12 students that want to sign up for my class?”  You have several options to help make this happen.

  • You can split the number of students and teach the classes on the same day, but at different times. One morning class and one evening class. This does make for a long day but it is doable.
  • You can split the number of students and teach the classes on different dates.
  • You can teach all the students at once, and bring in another instructor to help you. (remember the ratio is 12-1 so bring in as many instructors that you need to keep within that ratio)

Now let’s go to the other extream of minimal students per class. I have had new instructors ask me, how small would you allow your class to be? To be honest I have had classes as little as 2 students. For me, I live in a small community, and I don’t have to commute very far to teach, therefore I am happy to teach really small classes. Every instructor’s situation is different, and maybe 2 students would not be as cost-effective as someone like me who does not have to travel very far. Here are several things to consider when deciding how small you are willing for your classes to be.

  • Travel distance, will it be cost-effective
  • Will teaching a small class open up great teaching opportunities for you in the future?
  • Are you renting space for this class, if so how much are you paying for rental space?
  • Is this a returning customer?
  • Is this high or low season for you? (Sometimes when business is slow, you may want to take that really small class, who knows they may pass the word of how awesome you are, and business may pick up again.

Bottom line is, we as instructors are all different and have different circumstances and have to make choices that benefit both us as instructors as well as your students. If you have a really large class and have to call in another instructor or two to help you, welcome that with open arms and have fun with it. On the flip side if you decide to teach that really small class, think of it as you just helped your students gain skills to know what to do if a medical emergency were ever to arise and that in its self is pretty rewarding. No matter what size of classes you choose to teach, remember to have fun with it.