Teachers tackle both learning models

Kris Long, Sports Editor

All teachers have had to make adjustments this year, but, for many, now that hybrid is over, teaching has returned to a level of normalcy. For others teaching remote full-time, the switch to five-day-a-week school did not change much about their routine. But a few teachers have had to straddle both worlds, teaching both remote and in-person hours of their classes.

“My philosophy with remote is to make it as close to in-person as possible,” English teacher Brad Ficke, who teaches both models, said. “I just tweak and adapt, whatever I’m doing in-person to work in remote, as opposed to the other way around.”

Teachers who teach both models have the added time commitment of trying to adapt the same content they teach in-person to a remote format. Most simply record the lectures they do in class and upload worksheet assignments to Canvas, but some activities are harder to transfer to remote students. 

“For me, they’re the exact same content in-person and remote and so…. [the time commitment is] more trying to come up with equivalent methods of learning,” science teacher Craig Ackerman said. “Labs are a little bit difficult so maybe a little bit more time spent trying to find good quality replacements for the remote students [than previous years].”

“Doing group work, breakout rooms are no replacement for group work,” Ficke said. “I can pop in and out of breakout rooms, but there’s a lag. And I can only be in one breakout room at once as opposed to in the classroom I can stand in an area and hear multiple groups. So…  that’s been something I’m not sure how you overcome.”

Most teachers report the workload being different rather than larger while teaching both learning models. But it can become more complicated and frustrating, especially for those teaching in-person and remote in the same hour.

“I record my Zoom sessions so I [can] pop [the lesson] online so that’s an additional step to get that done, and then converting all my tests over into Canvas quizzes is somewhat time-consuming,” math teacher Ted Dawdy said. “If it’s an hour video it’s going to take YouTube about 20 minutes to process it, and then it’s just remembering… the five minutes and the 32 mouse clicks to get it actually inside Canvas.”

Those who teach both in-person and remote students have a unique vantage point to see the difference in student’s performance between remote and in-person students.

“I think academically, it’s not hurting them, at least not my kids I don’t feel like it is,” Ficke said. “I can give them as good [of] feedback, more sometimes because there’s only nine of them. And so in a 98 minute period I have more time with each one of those kids. Socially, I would assume that there are some that it’s a little bit of a detriment, although some of those kids are involved in extracurricular activities.”