NORTH COLLEGE HILL, Ohio (WJW) – Ohio’s educators are feeling the pressure. A national shortage of teachers and substitutes and the continued strain created by the pandemic have teachers rethinking their career plans.
Now, one Southwest Ohio district is adopting a new permanent learning model to prevent its faculty from burnout.
North College Hill City Schools will be adopting a blended learning model where teachers will have one day to focus on planning while students work to complete assignments from home. The other four days are slated to be in a traditional format.
“You have a local community that decided the best way to serve the needs of students is to provide time,” Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro said. “I will say time is the most precious commodity that we have. Time for teachers to do all the work that is necessary for effective instruction to happen.”
55% of educators are thinking about leaving the profession sooner than planned according to a 2022 study from the National Education Association. DiMauro said 90 percent are experiencing burnout.
“Over the last few years, I think the level of stress on educators has risen pretty dramatically,” he said.
DiMauro views the blended approach as forward-thinking and applauds North College Hill City Schools for using the opinions of its faculty in its decision-making, but he also recognizes there are some potential pitfalls.
“How does the entire community get affected by this? One of the things in North College Hill are looking at is ensuring that students have access to healthy meals all through the week,” he said. “That’s a really important consideration. Also engaging support staff in these conversations.”
Time will be the true indicator of whether the change has a positive impact as for faculty retention or positive impacts on students, such as improved test scores or graduation rates.
So far, no other districts in Ohio plan to follow suit.
“It’s really understanding that in order for students to be successful, you have to make sure that educators have the time, have the resources, have the support that they need in order to do their jobs well,” DiMauro said.