Hybrid Schools and Teaching Staff

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 creating the type of learning environment which will maximally positively affect students’ minds and hearts and community 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.

Advantages of the 3DayModel for High School Students

Here are some thoughts about the advantages of home-day work in a 3day model.

  1. Students have 67 days each year to iteratively improve time-management skills.
  2. 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.
  3. 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…

Books Read 2018

1. Order of the Phoenix by Rowling.
2. Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel
3. A Very Short Introduction to Microeconomics by Avinash Dixit
4. Tribe by Sebastian Junger
5. Sunset in a Spider Web by Korean Poets
6. Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson
7. Demopolis by Josiah Ober
8. Ghost Wars by Steve Coll
9. LLibre Dels Fets by James I of Aragon
10. Medieval Omnibus by Clifford Backman
11. A Mediterranean Emporium by David Abulafia
12. Inadequate Equilibrium by Eliezer Yudkowsky
13. Unsong by Scott Alexander
14. The Dark Tower 2 by Stephen King
15. A Very Short Introduction to Military Strategy by Antulio J. Echevarria

About About 2014

[In 2014, my about page read as follows.]

Hello, my name is Sebastian Garren. At the beginning of March I was awarded a Fulbright Grant to do research in Finland. My project is to complete a Masters Degree in Education at the University of Turku. The official line of my research prospectus asks: what do administrators, teachers, and students tell each other about their goals and rationales, what goals and rationales require no justification and are simply understood through social cues, and how does this differ from American educational discourse?

A little about my intellectual history. I graduated high school with strong literary leanings. My high school English teacher cracked opened the world of ideas for me through literature. I attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana with the intention of becoming an English major. In the end, I became a Latin major – writing my senior thesis on the poetry of Horace – and a philosophy minor. I molded an area of concentration in Medieval Studies, studied some ancient Greek, and took other worthwhile classes outside of these fields. I studied ancient art and archaeology in Rome for one whole semester in my junior year. That fantastic experience left on me an indelible mark, something akin to a renewed awareness of the world, a re-enchantment.

How did this lead to Finland, education, and beyond? I suspect to an outside observer there is an incongruity. Where, you might ask, is the intersection of English literature, classical civilization, philosophy, education, empirical research, and ourselves (readers and learners)? I think these all do have some thing in common: they are important. They tell us where we are going, where we have been, and what we could do next. These disparate fields provide unique ways to approach the world. Finland, I believe, can do the same.

—–

So I was ready for the above research and academic practice when my boat capsized, so to speak. The University of Turku did not accept me into the program and the Finland Fulbright people threw me overboard. The American Fulbright people think I’m still on the boat, despite my protests. Illigimiti non carborundum.

So what does one do, when one adventure turns into another? I woke one day with a ticket to Finland and few prospects. A friend reminded me of an important lesson, “In chess, the failure of one plan is a dangerous moment, because the player feels like momentum has shifted, and he may lose morale or become rash, even if he is actually still ahead and well-positioned. Your path may have been turned, but has not led over a cliff.”

The narrative of a life is not always what we expect and every twist must be incorporated gracefully. Now I will venture to Finland to practice the language and write as I will.