Corona Chronicles · Education, life

Back To School, Hybrid Classes Rule!

December so far has been an eventful month. After much dithering, our primary section reopened for offline classes.

Goodbye ‘work from home’ and ‘hello school campus’.

The school main building as seen at a distance from an oval window.
School Ahoy!

The parents whooped and cheered but when it was time, many decided not to send their children.

  • “Omicron is spreading and no vaccination as yet for the children.”
  • “We are travelling.”
  • We are already out of station.”
  • “We are unable to arrange for transportation.”

In a year and half, the country discovered the convenience of a virtual class. We could be present in one from anywhere in the country. Even from the backseat of a car. One kid logged in from an airport and stayed online, right till the plane taxied away.

As for me, I steeled myself for the new school routine. Jumping out of a warm fuzzy blanket early, on a chilly winter morning is an ordeal. So is the drive to and from school. The traffic snarls are legendary in my town. Honestly, work from home was a test rest I never knew I needed.

Anyway, this new announcement brings me to the next evolution in pandemic teaching, hybrid classes.

So I have students sitting in front of me in school, masked and following the COVID protection protocols. Simultaneously, I also have children visible on my laptop, attending lessons virtually. So I teach like I’d normally teach my class. Or as normally as possible in the new normal.

It is wonderful to see the children in person and the interactions are awesome. Poor network is not a problem. No one is toggling with their videos or microphones and conversations are fast and furious. The online kids still struggle with that. Oh, and that applies for my trusty laptop as well. My heart skips a beat every time the message ‘your internet is unstable’ pops across my screen. Hot spot connectivity and data usage warnings can be nightmarish in the middle of the class. The scramble to connect on time and every time with the kids at home is a challenge in every way.

I am getting better with that and the art of multitasking which is tad more complicated than folding laundry while watching Netflix. Hybrid learning though has fuelled a sort of competition between my online and offline students for my attention.

WhatsApp classes figured, Zoom learning mastered and now this hybrid teaching. I suppose next term we may go completely offline. One thing is for sure, there will be no rainy day or a blistering cold day holiday like in the pre-Corona era. Classes now can be moved online at a click of a button. We had two when the roads were closed for mega election rallies recently.

Perhaps, this is what is meant by ‘living in interesting times’. We live and learn.

Hybrid classes in school where online through Zoom and offline children study together in the same classroom.
Where online and offline children meet…School in 2021!

“Love, friendship and laughter…

Some of the best things in life are really free.”

Bob Marley

I wish the Wi-Fi in school was free too!

Lens-Artists: You choose

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: A view

14 thoughts on “Back To School, Hybrid Classes Rule!

  1. My son’s school in the U.K. also switch to online learning simultaneously to the classroom at the touch of a button, it works well. They need to do this when some children are isolating. During our lockdowns he taught from home and that was just as productive. He actually enjoyed the change of routine.

    Thank you so much for linking to us again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Sue, the change in routine was really good too. Also in these trying circumstances, one just had to adapt. Now at least we have a Plan B in case of a lockdown or any other emergency that that may affect the students or the teacher. I’m actually pleased that I’m involved in this digital revolution taking place in learning.
      Perhaps in a few years time, when I’d look back and read this post, it will remind me of these early days.

      Merry Christmas, Sue.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So nice to see you back on the blog Sheetal – enjoyed your post very much. We often think of the kids’ struggles with online learning but not as much of the teachers. I cannot believe they don’t pay for your internet!!! But there are indeed pros and cons to both ways to learn, especially for the teachers! Thanks for addressing some of them for us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well Tina, these are early days in hybrid lessons and we will be pros soon enough. As I said the advantages to this method outweighs all arguments against it.
      I just thought I’d blog about it so that this post reminds me of these early days. I’m sure I see free Wi-Fi in my future.😊
      Thank you for always cheering me up with your comments.
      Merry Christmas and happy holidays, Tina.

      Like

  3. This hybrid teaching must be very challenging for all teachers. I’m a little surprised at the reluctance to send children back to school when permitted to. Here there are so many concerns about their mental health when kept at home, not interacting with their peers, that parents are desperate to send them whenever possible. Plus, with many adults working from home, the distractions of trying to support a child’s learning while also doing all your own work are immense!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you Sarah! The parents were ecstatic when they heard of the school re-opening. In fact many are sending and a few who initially were reluctant have changed their minds.
      Still, we have quite a few who are treading this path cautiously. A handful students attend both offline as well as online classes, alternate days in a week since both the options are available. I’m hopeful that they will all overcome their reluctance and commit to offline class soon enough. I’m optimistic about it.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yes! The papers are full of Omicron menace. Hence the caution. Anyway, it’s Winter break for us now. Let’s see what January has in store for all of us.
          Merry Christmas, Sarah! Have a healthy and joyous holiday.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Relatable read, Sheetal. Right, just when we got used to the online teaching, the schools went hybrid. It’s good to be back though… yet the covid clouds still loom.
    The picture of your classroom is vibrant and is your writing.
    P.S.: inspite of being a poor cousin to SPA, we have free wifi:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You said it, Manjari! Just when we get used to, the routine changes. Anyway, hybrid teaching is perfect to ease ourselves back into the good old days of school.
      Also may I add, I’m torn between envy and pride- SPA rocks! 😊
      I miss it so much. I’m happy it is in good hands.

      Liked by 1 person

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