Reflections on a semester of hybrid learning


January 26, 2021

The first semester of hybrid learning at Prep has been completed, and now the focus is on the second semester. Right now, I want to reflect on the first semester and how it went for me personally. I asked some teachers how it went for them as well. 

Personally, I like having the option of either staying home or going into school. I spent the majority of the first semester as a full remote student. I enjoy staying home and being able to stay as healthy as possible while I was still able to sign into class and learn from my living room. I was able to wake up, make a cup of coffee, make breakfast, go set up my laptop and iPad, and then sign into class. After I finished, I had more time to complete my homework because I was able to start right away instead of dealing with 12th Street traffic. Getting as much work done before hockey practice and having that extra 25 minutes to start calculus or paint was very beneficial. 

Staying at home also presented many difficulties as well. There are a lot of distractions at home that interfere with class. Electronics, parents, and siblings were the most common ones that I noticed. Students are more likely to be distracted at home than at school because when they’re in person the teacher can see it and correct it. Being remote sometimes the student’s camera feed doesn’t show up on the teacher’s screen, so they might miss it. Students need to find a way to limit those distractions and focus on class. 

Learning remotely for me has been tough because I didn’t get the same interactions with classmates and teachers. Being in school you have limited distractions, you can focus properly, and you also have friends and teachers there that you’re able to talk to. You start to miss being in school because of all the time with classmates and teachers you are missing. Being remote is nowhere near close to the same experience, and that’s what I believe is the hardest part of being remote. 

Mrs. Slaby, senior theology teacher, said, “I miss being able to see everyone’s face and celebrating our success together!” She added, “[The first semester] was a huge challenge, but I think it went well and has become more natural as we have gone along. It has helped me think about class and lessons in new ways, to experiment with new ideas.” Over time she has gotten more confident with the technology like with fixing glitches and using Teams more proficiently. She likes how hybrid learning gives us, “a way to keep going in situations that are challenging.” 

Mrs. Slaby said her expectations for the second semester are, “to see more people and try to organize fun activities, especially as this is the seniors’ last semester.” One thing she wants to improve on in the second semester is to learn new apps to make her classes more interactive. One tool she’s been using is a website called Quizziz, and I have enjoyed that. 

Mrs. Vomero, a junior English teacher, thinks the first semester also went well considering the obstacles in the way. She’s improved her classes by, “going paperless,” she said. “If you know me, I am a paper person. I have learned so much of new technology. I have changed many aspects of my lessons, including how I test the students.” 

Mrs. Vomero expects her classes to continue to run smoothly. She expects her students to continue to give their best and be successful in class. She wants to improve on “my lessons to be tailored more for distance learning.” When asked what she misses most now that we have hybrid learning, she said, “I miss the boys the most. I miss talking to them and seeing what is going on in their lives.” 

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