We returned to in-person hybrid instruction this week after 4 weeks of all online learning to start the school year.
It was my first time teaching students in the school building since March 12, 2020. It's definitely very different.
(sanitizing shoe mats)
After all of the planning, discussion, changing of plans, and worry, I have to say that the first week went pretty smoothly.
About 1/3 of our students have remained completely online, and the remaining students are split into two groups that alternate attendance days. So, instead of 1600 students in the building every day, there are more like 600 on any given day.
This certainly made maintaining physical distance easier. My classes have between 6 and 12 students in them, which allows everyone to be well spread out.
We have block scheduling, so that plus the hybrid schedule meant that it took all 4 days of the week before I met all of my in person students. It was like 4 first days of school! Needless to say, everyone was exhausted by Friday.
But students have generally been cooperative about mask wearing and physical distancing in the classroom.
It's difficult, though, to figure out how best to help a student from 6 feet away and how to continue to work with my online students when I have students in the classroom. I'm using a flipped classroom model, which is not how I chose to teach BCE (before COVID era), but it seems to me the best option in the CE (COVID era). Many things just aren't ideal right now.
The first few days just felt weird, but by Friday I did feel like I was starting to get a little more comfortable. It's just a very different school world now, and I think it will be for some time to come.