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Hybrid Teaching is Fresh Hell – Day 1 of a Teacher Returning to The Classroom


Hybrid Teaching is Fresh Hell - Day 1 of a Teacher Returning to The Classroom

It has been a whole entire year since I’ve had actual students in my physical classroom. I teach in Las Vegas which is the home of the fifth-largest school district in the country. Virtual has been the only option, UNTIL NOW. Although I have been teaching for 25 years, today I feel like it’s Year 1, Day 1. I’m now a hybrid teacher.

Join me for my first day of hybrid teaching in Kindergarten. Hold on to your masks; it’s going to be a bumpy ride.  

1. Operation Leaving-the-House: The Morning Commute

  • There’s no time for coffee today as your commute is much longer than your virtual one (which was your bedroom to your living room). 
  • You tell your pups, “Mommy will be right back.” They know by your clothes (which don’t include PJ bottoms) that is a lie.
  • You try to pump yourself up with ’80s music in the car, but then “Holiday” by Madonna comes on, and all you can think about is the next break.

2. Hybrid set-up: It’s a whole new world

Hybrid Teaching is Fresh Hell - Day 1 of a Teacher Returning to The Classroom_ hybrid set-up

  • The setup for hybrid gives the CIA a run for its money. You now have more cords than a hospital delivery room. If you move too much, you trip.
  • Two screens are a must, and a projector is imperative also.

3. Preparing to prevent kids from sharing: That’s fun

individual learning materials

  • Students are not allowed to share materials, so you prepare their own individual activity boxes.
  • It takes you an hour to prepare and will keep them busy for about five minutes.

4. Student arrivals: Dodging hugs from cute tiny humans

Superheroes wear masks

  • Students arrive. Their Avenger and Princess masks fall slightly below their noses. You will spend the next 6 hours telling students to pull them up.
  • They excitedly try to hug you, and you use all your restraint to back up and give an air hug instead.
  • One student asks, “When does Mrs. Barton get here?” as she’s only seen you through a screen and doesn’t recognize you in a mask.

5. Hybrid juggling act, attempt #1: Well, this is a mess

Hybrid Teaching is Fresh Hell - Day 1 of a Teacher Returning to The Classroom_ social distancing

  • Your first Google Meet with kids at home and at school is scheduled almost as soon as students walk in the classroom door.
  • You think it’s actually going well until you notice (with your binoculars from six feet out) that your in-person kids are seeing all their letters from the projector in a mirror image. No time now. You’ll fix that later.
  • Being a hybrid teacher is HARD.

6. Recess: Sort of

  • Students are allowed a structured break. You give them sidewalk chalk, and it keeps them occupied for a hot minute.
  • Keeping them six feet apart, however, keeps you occupied forever.
  • They notice the roped-off playground, drop their chalk and excitedly ask, “When can we go on that?” You don’t have the heart to tell them, “Not this year.”

7. Lunch Rush: Chaos

Hybrid Teaching is Fresh Hell - Day 1 of a Teacher Returning to The Classroom

  • Every class has a designated PRECISE arrival time. You fail miserably at getting them there at 12:34 on the dot.
  • They drop masks, smack each other in the head while doing Zombie Arms and forget their lunches.
  • You run back to your classroom and open up a million tabs for the afternoon hybrid live sessions. You may have time to eat half a banana.

8. Hybrid juggling act, attempt #2: Confirmed – this sucks!

  • I am not going to sugarcoat this. Hybrid teaching is fresh hell.
  • As soon as you go on live with the students at home, the in-person kids have one of many different crises. Pencils break. Someone has an accident. A mask gets wet. Students don’t understand what to do. Water bottles spill. And on and on and on.
  • One teacher is not meant to teach students in person and at home. We will make it work though because that’s what teachers do. 

9. Dismissal: Do I really have to do this again tomorrow?

  • As we are waiting in line for the parents to arrive, one sweet little boy looks up at you with his masked angelic face and says, “Mrs. Barton, I like you better in human.”
  • Fine, we will come back tomorrow and do it all over again, IN HUMAN.

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Angela Barton

Veteran Member

Angela is a veteran kindergarten teacher. When she’s not teaching or writing, she can be found thrifting or spending time with her husband, daughters and two Maltese dogs.

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