If you want to guarantee different outcomes, create a model which can’t reproduce the same errors. The hybrid model transforms education – three days at school, two at home. This one drastic change creates many unique consequences.
Class time is not wasted by long videos that can be watched at home, or by loading up dozens of computers on to the same app, teachers burning time, or other administrative interruptions. Teachers guide the student and her classmates through a lesson, teach new skills, and prepare students to accomplish a new task at home the next day. Everyone – teachers and students- work together to understand their mission for their upcoming home-day assignments. Working with classmates throughout the day, a shared sense of purpose and joy builds lasting friendships. When the day ends, students depart with their assignments in their planner and their books and notes.
On the home day, they budget their time to read, write, reflect, practice, and create. They have a job to do, and all tools they need to complete it. Parents oversee that they are being responsible, and teachers are available by email and phone. Over time students become the master of their studies and have skills in college that other freshmen have yet to even begin learning – namely the ability to be independent and learn on their own.
What if the hybrid model forms on average more independent and dependable students?
What if the hybrid model provides the right balance of family and peer socialization?
What if the hybrid model wastes the least of amount of students’ time?
What if the hybrid model offers the same educational value as the best traditional schools at 60% the cost?
What if the hybrid model is best model of education for 50% of the school age population?
What if the hybrid model offers the optimum amount of flexibility and accountability for the average student?
What if the hybrid model is the model of education most fit for what the future will bring?
If even two of these are true, then the Hybrid Model is a great good.
Over 100 families have already chosen the hybrid model. It serves them well.
At JPII our snow days are work from home days. The work is a little lighter than a normal at-home work day, and teachers have to make sure a little new content with practice still gets presented. However, the occasional snow day gives teachers, parents, and students practice at remote learning. Having a system in place for remote learning is another way in which the hybrid model proves flexible and resilient.
Even when separated by distance our community hangs together and keeps learning and growing.
Maintaining a core teaching staff at a hybrid school requires a unique political economy. While in practice, hybrid schools have low tuitions because they only hire teacher for 3-days of instruction and rent space for three-days at a time, teachers are still putting in many hours of prep work, prep work which seems to scale nonlinearly according to how many classes are taught.
For example: 1 class might require 5 hours per week from a teacher. 2 classes – 12 hours. 3 classes – 14 hours. 4 classes – 20 hours. Of course, these figures largely depend on the individual teacher but based upon my small dataset, all teachers experience weird nonlinear effects in time-expenditure by class – each in their own way.
For myself, this manifests most when I turn my attention to lesson planning. In that mode, there is basically always more time I could spend on honing my lessons, not just in terms of content, but in terms of delivery, and fostering an ever better learning environment to maximally affect students’ minds, hearts, and educational culture.
Being paid by instructional hours doesn’t take into account these effects, and it keeps the administration in the dark about how much time teachers are spending. When the administration doesn’t know what is happening with the teachers’ time, teachers will feel undervalued. Value-added payment structures at hybrid schools should be developed and tested. We might get useful results.
Here are some observations about the advantages of home-day work in a 3-day model.
- Students have 67 days each year to iteratively improve time-management skills.
- Students have more time to read and write than they otherwise have, which perhaps means our students have read and written more than similar students.
- The school environment is not a totalizing force in the students’ lives. They and their parents have more options to create their own schedules, choose their extracurriculars, and join groups which are composed of people other than their peers in school.
There are some tradeoffs too. But these are some effects I have seen in the past five years.
To be continued…