Teachers express their opinion on the upcoming hybrid schedule 


Emily Shiff

On Jan. 25, Metea will reopen for hybrid learning students. This is the first time students have attended classes after a full semester of remote learning.

Sydney Burleyson

*Two of the teacher interviewees in this article chose to remain anonymous. They will be referred to as a Social Studies teacher and an English teacher.

The hybrid schedule for high school students will begin next Tuesday. This schedule caused a lot of changes, such as teachers now having to set up a new classroom layout, and focusing on both in person’s students as well as online students. Getting students back in the building for in-person learning is currently of great importance.

“I think the decision is a tough one. Trying to keep everyone safe, while getting students back in school, is tough to do,” one Social Studies teacher said. “We know how well students flourish in front of teachers as opposed to remote learning, so anything to help get students back in the building with teachers is critical.”

When asked what they are looking forward to as they return to school, they both had the same response: Building relationships with their students. 

“I miss that so much, and it was a no-brainer to get myself in front of kids again and see them face-to-face,” the Social Studies teacher said.

Building relationships with students is a crucial part of helping each student thrive in the classroom.With online learning, it is hard for students to socially interact with each other. Most students keep their cameras off and stay muted.

One concern of many parents, teachers, and students is the health and safety of those within the school buildings. District 204 has designed a detailed plan on how to ensure the safety of everyone in the building. A mask mandate, sanitizing, and social distancing are all enforced.

“I really do believe [District] 204 is doing enough to ensure our safety,” an English teacher said. “Several precautions have been put into place to provide a safe return to school.”

Online learning has not only been overwhelming for certain students but teachers as well. With the hopes of seeing their students back in the classroom, teachers had to make any changes to their classroom setup and lesson plans.

“I have gone into the building to make sure that I am prepared for students, [both] in-person and on Zoom,” a Social Studies teacher said. “From there, I think the team I work on has had discussions on getting to know our in-person students to make them feel safe, but also get back to some normalcy with students in the building.”

With the new hybrid learning setup comes many challenges for teachers. This is a new way of teaching in the sense that teachers have had to manipulate lessons in order to make them doable online. In the past, teachers never had to worry about teaching virtually and creating lesson plans that adhere to virtual and in-person students. 

“My biggest concern is making sure the experience for both in-person and Zoom students is the best it can be,” the Social Studies teacher said. “I think the lessons we have planned will be great for both, but making sure we provide attention to both groups -and that balancing act- could be tough at times.”