A Different Point of View: Teacher Perspectives on Virtual and Hybrid School

by Catherine Gonzalez ’22

Source: CNM

Published Nov. 23rd, 2020

As students, we have recognized both our personal delights and concerns with the virtual and hybrid learning models. Whether we physically entered the building for hybrid learning or not, the differences in class length, learning strategies, and other such variables have proven necessary to adapt to.

However, we are not alone in our journeys—based on the results of an anonymous survey sent out to each MHS subject department, teachers are expressing similar sentiments. Upon the many replies received from the survey, it appeared that teacher opinions of the advantages and drawbacks of both models were generally consistent regardless of the subject area taught.

For example, most classes require the usage of visuals. Teachers fear that the media they share in the hybrid format could be more advantageous for the in-school students than their online counterparts. The hybrid format also brings about a new struggle with having students in two different locations: teachers reported struggling with splitting their attention between the groups. In terms of scheduling, teachers also found a struggle in covering the necessary material in the hybrid schedule’s one hour block in comparison to the virtual schedule’s 70 minute ones.

The hybrid model is not without its advantages, however. For example, some teachers expressed their belief in the benefit of the 1:07-2:07 block for extra assistance as a great time for more immediate clarification, opposed to requiring students to wait for their individual after-school help blocks once a week. Some also said that, despite seeing only a few students in person two or three times a week, they still feel the benefits of a boosted personal connection.

However, it is important to note that neither format has been entirely easy for teachers: many report receiving less ability to interpret their students’ level of understanding or focus. Teachers have also had to frequently adjust their lesson plans based on unforeseen circumstances, which they did not have experience with before the existence of COVID-19.

In the situation today, everybody has a role to play. Teachers are no more in control of the format circumstances than students are. The best that us students can do is recognize the initiative that teachers are taking and assist them by playing our part as well.

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