Teachers’ Outlook, Hopes and Thoughts on Hybrid Scheduling

Caeli Harman, Staff Writer & Head Artist

As SHS takes its first step into a new chapter of school scheduling, both students and teachers are reeling as they adjust to the differences of hybrid school. Below is a snapshot into teachers’ thoughts about their adjustment, relayed through the words of Rob Last, Sheila Hosseini, and one other teacher. In addition, their thoughts are back-ended by a collection of well-wishes to students and staff alike.

How has the new schedule affected you?

Anonymous Teacher: I have felt extremely tired myself! If I feel this way, I can only imagine how students feel.

Last: The first two weeks of the schedule felt like it was way too much– a shock to the system. Having half of the time to plan double the content (and do it well) seemed [like] an insurmountable mountain. The third week felt better, but that is with changing my own personal expectations about how decent my lessons were going to be.


How has the new schedule affected your teaching methods and style?

Hosseini: I am able to use more outside resources than just the textbook. I have been able to add other and more diverse voices to what the book says, which is important in history.

Last: It really hasn’t. With more than half of students being virtual in any given day and the fact we work in study teams, we are still doing virtual collaboration and sharing out of work. The biggest change is building in time for students, and myself, to complete work so there isn’t as much to complete outside of class time.


How are you juggling your online classes and in-person classes?

Anonymous Teacher: It is difficult, stressful, and lots and lots of work. It is hard to make sure everyone has what they need and get the help they need.

Hosseini: I am in a unique situation where I am working from home this semester, so it has been hard to connect with all students. I am trying to make sure that all students, virtual and in-person, are able to contact me and ask questions during class, whether that is out loud or privately chatting with me. 

Last: For me, it is about the same as [being] fully virtual. I get to see some more eyes and hear more voices with in-person classes, but it is the same workload within the new schedule for me.


What do you like about this new schedule?

Hosseini: I like that we get more time with students and have built-in time for students to ask questions. I am able to teach more of the material to students instead of them needing to do a large chunk of the learning on their own. 

Last: Having 90 minutes at the beginning of the day bisected for staff collaboration and student support is wonderful, and at least the staff collaboration time would be great to make a permanent addition to  our schedule. This also induces a later start time for high schoolers, which research says is highly beneficial for them.


What do you dislike about this new schedule?

Hosseini: I dislike how long students and teachers are on zoom. Many students have told me that their last few classes of the day are hard because they have headaches or are fatigued from looking at a screen all day.

Last: As a student told me in a 15-minute cry session at the end of class one day, it just seems like a lot, and I’m not sure how long we’ll be able to sustain something beneficial for students and staff. 


What is your hope(s) for the rest of this school year?

Last: That staff can get vaccines sooner rather than later, and we can take some long term learning and reflection from this year to improve our system for the long term.


Other thoughts about the new schedule and hybrid classes:

Last: I suspect my feelings about the schedule and situation will continue to improve because I am a creature that thrives on habits. I think my biggest bad feelings stem from the abrupt change in how the day feels, but as I get my new routines established and fine-tuned, it will become our/my new normal. 


A Message to Seniors:

Last: Life is what happens while you are making other plans. Try to find the silver lining from this time and think about what you have learned about yourself; That introspection is something many older adults critically lack. Finally, acknowledge and name your feelings so that you can recognize them and deal with them. 

Hosseini: [T]he senior class [has] done a great job of continuing to work hard through a global pandemic. I know it really sucks that they have had to miss out on what should be a really exciting last year of school and that I feel for them. But I have also been really impressed with how they have handled the situation.

Anonymous Teacher: I am proud of you. You have gone through so much this past year and it has made you stronger! I can’t wait to see how you all change the world!


A Message to Freshmen:

Last: This too shall pass; don’t forget this time, but try to use it for growth. If you can’t use it for growth, don’t feel bad about that.

Anonymous Teacher: I am proud of you! I know it is not ideal, but you are doing a great job. I look forward to you being able to fully experience and enjoy High school!


A Message to Teachers:

Brandon Kreger (11): Thank you to all teachers that are actively thinking about students’ mental health during this time. It really means a lot to all of us to know that you care!

Laura Perry (10): “You all are doing a spectacular job navigating these weird new circumstances! I know if I had to try and teach a class that’s half in-person and half on zoom I would be undoubtedly discombobulated. Hopefully things will be back to normal soon, and we can all be together safely, but for now, thank you for what you’re doing. Myself and other students really appreciate the sympathy and compassion we’ve been receiving from teachers during this time, and hopefully we can send some back as we continue to steer through these next few months!”

Amelia Rhinerson (12): This is crazy for all of us, but especially for you. You have had to adjust to everything in a matter of days and weeks, teach two classes at once, and learn how to deal with all of this technology. We are with you, and we can be patient. Please don’t feel like this awkward situation is hopeless and endless! We can get through.

Annika Goetz (12): Dear teachers, Thank you so much for putting in all your effort to teach us even during these chaotic times. Having to create all new lesson plans and teach to a bunch of blank screens all day is quite a burden and I’m sure is frustrating. Even so, you all still work so hard to help every one of us and our futures. It is truly appreciated.