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Hybrid Learning Has Essentially Doubled Teachers’ Workload


Hybrid Learning Has Essentially Doubled Teachers' Workload

Here is the hard truth. The hybrid learning model is killing our teachers. I’m watching this firsthand as an administrator. Let me explain.

Teachers were given no training or time to prepare for hybrid learning.

I am a huge fan of learning models that provide more flexibility to students and teachers. This should be done through the specific and intentional use of technology. I am not a huge fan of the “trial by fire” approach of expecting our educators to use this learning model effectively with little to no training or professional development during a public health emergency.

The schools across the country who have been using some form of hybrid learning before COVID did so methodically. They provided years of ongoing training to their staff. Time was spent implementing pilot programs to help them gauge the effectiveness of the model. Specific learning challenges within the school were considered. Teachers were provided the tools, technology, and time necessary to use the model effectively with their students. Because of the pandemic, this is not how many schools were able to roll this learning model out to their students. Teachers were forced into hybrid teaching with no training or tools. Now they’re struggling and yet we expect them to excel.

We expect teachers to do too much.

Society has always placed high expectations on our educators. Very few professions out there have the same standard of expectations placed on them for as little pay as we give our teachers. You won’t find many professionals heading home in the evenings just to continue working after their kids have gone to bed or making time on the weekends to get more done than teachers. This has become more evident in recent years as many parents have adopted an even more “hands-off” approach to their children’s education. The current state of the hybrid learning model in schools is adding more and more stress to an already stressful job.

We can’t just throw some technology and new apps at our teachers and expect them to excel overnight.

When implemented correctly, this model has some real benefits. But we can’t just throw some technology and new apps at our teachers and expect them to use hybrid learning effectively. Teachers are trying to teach in-person classes while also facilitating online learning. They are essentially being expected to manage two separate classes at once. It is not as simple as letting other kids watch the lesson. Effective teaching is all about in-the-moment engagement. If you are trying to actively engage your in-person learners, then you are probably neglecting your virtual learners to some degree.

We have essentially doubled the workload on our teachers.

There are enough distractions in a typical classroom environment. Imagine a screen full of kids at home distracted by pets, parents, TV, toys, etc. Quality learning for both parties at once just doesn’t happen, and it is not from a lack of effort on the part of the teacher. Teachers are buried in screens and cameras and technology doing their best to hold the attention of their students and it is sad. We have essentially doubled the workload on our teachers.

We need to do better at supporting teachers instead of making their job even more stressful.

The future of education is uncertain right now. I strongly doubt that we will ever see school look the same as it did before COVID, and that is not entirely a bad thing. But if we are going to continue using a hybrid learning model to provide a virtual learning option to our students then we need to take a huge step backward and re-examine how to best support our teachers in this endeavor. We must create a set of expectations for virtual students and their parents as well as also providing them with the tools and training necessary to be successful learners at home. If we don’t do this, we will lose outstanding educators to burnout.

What is happening right now is not sustainable for anyone.

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Hybrid Learning Has Essentially Doubled Teachers' Workload

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Chris Cochran

Senior Member

Father, Husband, Amateur Adventurer, Aspiring Creative.  School Leader living in Northwest Arkansas.  Drinks coffee all day.

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