Teachers talk about hybrid


Adina Kiriac

Michael Nelson, an English teacher at Barlow, works hard after a week of Hybrid learning

Emily Rath, Staff Writer

Staff, students, and parents alike have been waiting for this time to finally come, but now that it has, how do we feel? The end of this school year is nearing, meaning it’s time to reflect. Though hybrid has only been in motion for a little over a month, we can definitely see a difference in everyone. Students were given the choice to come back to school for hybrid learning through this last quad. Staff on the other hand, were not. I set out to get many different staff members’ opinions on hybrid learning. 


Covid cases are still being reported all over the US. Are we positive that we made the right decision by opening schools once more? That said, are the precautions being taken to ensure hybrid learning is safe for both students and staff and are the best they can be? Kim Louvin, Barlow’s social worker says, “I think we are doing the best we can given all of the realities of the moment we find ourselves in.” All of my interviewees responded by saying that of course they think that hybrid is being the safest it can be. “Hybrid is less than ideal, but it is the best we have at the moment,” Eric Pohl, an English and AVID teacher at Barlow told me. We can all agree that while there is some risk, overall it’s helping many people, and that we are all doing the best we can during these times.  


So taking into account these risks, was putting together hybrid learning for these last few months really worth it? Art teacher Amanda Gibson says, “Getting our students back into the building is really important for their mental health and education.” Which can be true for both staff and students. Online learning was extremely hard for teachers as well, and some students fail to realize that. “Not being able to see kids and know that they were understanding the lesson was terribly difficult. It is also much more time consuming to grade work online,” said Jenny Byrne, a teacher and substitute teacher for Sam Barlow. 


You may be thinking that hybrid is looking pretty good, but what are some of the cons of hybrid learning? “I don’t like having each class split into two ‘periods’ or parts,” says Gibson. I noticed that there was a theme, when asked if teachers would change anything about hybrid learning the schedule was a recurring answer. It is complicated and a bit of a pain. Both to staff and students participating in hybrid or distance learning alike.   


I can safely say that most teachers are glad that school is back in session. Sure, some admit that there are some ups and downs, but overall they see it as a positive experience and the right decision. Though as Byrne tells me “We should never think of education as ‘one size fits all.’’ So whether you are pro-hybrid or not, whatever your reasons may be, remember that there are people who are largely benefiting from this decision.