As an English teacher, this editorial has to revolve around an analogy; the hybrid model is like a computer. Perhaps I should be more specific, the hybrid model is like a school-sponsored Chromebook. The analogy works on a few different levels that I hope to show here and hopefully my experience as a new teacher here at LHS can be relatable to both students and my fellow teachers.
Obviously, the hybrid model has flaws, just like the Chromebooks. Oftentimes students tell me they have so many tabs open that they can’t navigate between them. This is definitely relatable as I often feel that I have 17 “tabs” open in my mind at one time and it is exhausting. The process of simply having a student raise their hand is difficult on both ends. Ask the question, minimize the Classroom Tab, bring up the Zoom Tab, change out of speaker view, look up at the kids in front of you, pick a student, ask them to turn on their microphone, turn yours off…all for a one word answer. Whether it is worrying about raising your hand, or worrying about family members getting sick, I think every member of the school community gets to the end of the day and can’t wait to turn off their screens and close the actual tabs on the computer and the mental ones as well.
I am an optimist though, and I think the Chromebook analogy works in a more positive way as well. The Chromebooks were given out with the absolute best of intentions and this hybrid model was created in the same fashion. Administrators worked incredibly hard to put together the best learning environment for students and I am proud to be a part of a school that so deeply cares about all of its members. Additionally, while they have their issues, the fact that every person in the school community is linked together in this crazy world we are living in is beautiful; I have gotten to know co-workers quicker than I ever would in a regular year, and instead of staring at blank screens all day, or assigning work only to get zero feedback, I get to discuss overrated Thanksgiving food with my Zoom kids and hear about a students’ love of poetry when they come in my classroom a few minutes early.
The Chromebooks may not be perfect; they overheat, are overwhelming, and sometimes I want to just slam them shut and scream. However they connect us, they help us depend on each other, and they have the absolutely best intentions. This hybrid model is difficult to be sure, but it is a form of connection I savor and an example of the depth of care this school has for its students.