If you’ve ever raised a toddler then you’ve had a glimpse into raising a teenager. Sure they can be impulsive at times, throw tantrums on occasion, but what toddlers and teenagers really have in common are their needs for structure, routine, schedules, and naps, lol! Thus, the worst thing you can do to either is disrupt their routine which is precisely what is going to occur this week. After 6 months of remote learning, getting into a consistent routine, with a firm grasp of their schedules, they are going to have everything basically turned upside down and are going to be starting all over on a hybrid schedule with less than 3 months left in the school year. That’s virtually like teaching a toddler how to use a spoon and once they’ve almost mastered it you take away the spoon and give them chopsticks. Will they figure it out? Sure. But at what cost? That’s the big question, will there be detrimental repercussions due to the change in not only their schedule, but also, in how they are taught/learning? As our school district marches to it’s Yellow/Hybrid Learning the following are a few of the issues and concerns parents are expressing.
Instructors/teachers aren’t present everyday
While remote learning isn’t the best, most parents would agree that it falls in the middle, with hybrid not being all it’s hyped-up to be, and in-person being the preferred method of learning. The biggest concern with hybrid is the fact that teachers will no longer be present 5 days a week like they are with in-person learning and remote learning. Having an instructor present everyday not only provides for actual instruction and allows for the introduction of new materials, it also allows students to ask questions in “real-time” and teachers to be made aware of students that aren’t grasping the material the same day it’s taught. Once we move to Hybrid and instructors/teachers are only available two days a week and an hour Wednesday mornings students could slip more easily through the cracks.
Discipline and Time Management on those At-Home Days
On those days at home children really need to have discipline and practice their best time management skills, which we all know is hard! It’s hard for us adults to stay focused when working from home. And without a teacher in real-time, on the screen, to tell them when they need to move onto their next subject, to help diffuse a frustrating situation, etc. it will be interesting to see how hybrid will affect their comprehension, grades, etc.
New School & Transition Year Students
We can’t forget our unique group of students who transitioned from elementary school to middle school and/or high school during the pandemic. These groups of students will literally be going into their actual school building for the first time EVER! Imagine going to a local school for 6 months but having never stepped foot inside the building. And you know those orientations that usually occur for new 7th and 9th graders? The ones that allow parents and students to tour the school together, locate their classrooms, lockers, lunchroom, try their lock combinations while mom and dad standby for guidance? The orientations that not only provide comfort to the student, but provide an equally comforting assurance to the parents? And in the past they included signups for clubs, sports, etc.? Yeah, those didn’t happen for these kids. Thus, come Thursday or Friday, depending on what hybrid group each student has been assigned, that will literally be their first time inside the building. (Unless they had an older sibling in the building or attended prior events at said school). I can tell you there is definitely one school in the district that will have ALL grades 7th-12th in this boat since the school building was renovated and is new to TPS. These parents, myself included are printing off maps, watching virtual tours, and will be standing by that first day of school via phone/text with a copy of their map and schedule in hand to help orientate remotely, if the need should arise.
So, bottom-line, hybrid isn’t all it’s been hyped-up to be and no one is happy to have the structure, routine, and schedules that children/students have had for 6 months (except for those children in K-5 who managed to get in a few hybrid days back at the beginning of school) disrupted. But the thing is, if we are going to move forward, and hopefully get back to in-person learning fulltime then this is going to have to be that uncomfortable middle phase/step that gets us there, and hopefully it gets us there sooner rather than later. Thus, as the entire district transitions this week please say a prayer for the administrators, teachers, parents, and an extra one for all our students/children. We’re tough, strong, and resilient, we’re TPS proud!
What are your thoughts? Please feel free to share your thoughts and perspectives on the topic…all opinions are welcomed and please note that this is a friendly, respectful, nonjudgmental forum.